Does the journey matter more than the goal?

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In the journey of life, moments come and go, have you ever wondered, what is more important – the effort or the goal. Or, in other words, is it the journey or the destination?

I’ve had my moments when these thoughts have nagged me over and over again. Often, when I’ve taken up something where I had to give all of myself, at times going against my grain, in striving for perfection to ensure the success of a certain project. Hard work,sleepless nights, erratic work timings, losing sleep, cutting out from social dos, sparing no time for oneself, you name it. There’ve been times when it has also taken over my life, much against my liking. I’ve allowed that to happen to me so often in the past that it came to me rather naturally to say ‘yes’ to things when I clearly should have said ‘no’ and opted out.

For some reason, I’ve always been more focused on the outcome, so that my goals have been my constant motivation and the destination being my sole concern. Looking back, I think I never really focused much time or attention on the journey itself. I would say a substantial part of my life has gone with this belief taking over all my efforts and it is only now, when I’m questioning my actions, that I’m pausing to wonder why I’ve not taken heed of that faint voice coming from within, asking me to think if I was doing the right thing. Why did I choose to stifle that voice for so long, I wonder!

You could say I’ve learnt it the hard way, that ‘self’ and ‘sanity’ are the two words that need to come first in the list of my priorities. These days I’m working at it, and almost making it the deciding factor for major life-changing decisions to follow. I say ‘almost’ because I’m still a work in progress. Slowly but surely, I see myself learning to make better choices. It might often be tough, but once done, that much-needed balance feels like the best thing we’ve done to ourselves in a long long time.

My opting out of the recent blogging challenge was one such step. Let’s just say I realised at the nick of time that it was not the goal that was important for me, when the journey itself was forcing me to stress myself out beyond my capacities. Did it matter if I stuck on to it till the end if the moments in between sucked my life out and spun me into a whirlpool of chaos from where I’d again struggle to extricate myself?

I’m glad I took the decision to do what I did.

What did I learn from this?

That life is a journey with problems to solve and lessons to learn but more than that, it is also about the experiences to live through. And it matters most, how you live those moments.

I know it is my road and mine alone and that even though I have a wonderful circle of friends and family who’ve been part of my journey, how I walk it, is entirely up to me. No matter which path we tread on – whether it a quiet, a smooth or a rough one, it is still ours and we have to figure it all out, no matter how experienced we feel are, or how old or mature we are. It has taken me years to realise that even when we think we’ve figured it all out, there is still so much more to learn about life every day.

Some of the most beautiful moments in life happen when we least expect it. Not all goals are meant to be reached, nonetheless, we spend a big chunk of our time chasing those goals, only to realise that they are not meant for us. Should we throw away the moments that we’ve spent working towards those goals, then? Should we not take the journey into account, the lessons, the experiences, the learnings, the fears, the doubts, the smiles, the tears, do they not matter at all?

Tell me, dear reader, which of the two, in your view, has been the more important thing – the journey, or the destination? Why do you say so?

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Linking up with #MondayMusings, hosted by Corinne Rodrigues

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and #mg hosted by Mackenzie Glanville
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15 thoughts

  1. First and foremost thanks for penning this article Esha. Well I am new to join the audience of giving feedback so please do bear with my words or grammatical mistakes in the comment. I am still not sure whether it’s the journey or the destination what we look forward too in general. But personally I think for every human being it’s the path he chooses that sets his journey and his destination and from time to time the scenario which he/she faces while being on that path changes his journey and destination. Having said that after reading this article I took a moment and a deep breath and realized​ that living a life is equally important.

    1. So glad to have your thoughts on the post, Arjun. Sometimes, I too have had a similar experience reading other posts and I can totally see your point. So often we get busy chasing our goals that we forget life is slipping us by…this thought inspired me to pen down the post. Look forward to see you stop by at the blog again. Thanks a lot for sharing your honest thoughts. Really appreciate. 🙂

  2. a really fabulous post that forces the reader to think and reflect. I have often felt such pressure to reach a goal that i have missed the journey. We are so often too focused on trying to get somewhere or achieve something that we miss parts of our life. I think now I am getting older I realise that the journey is so important. Really great post! #mg

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Mac. I guess we’ve all been there but only tend to realise it as we grow older how often we tend to look at the immediate goal and often miss the joys of taking the whole journey into consideration. Trying to be mindful of every passing minute now and life seems so different, so much more joyful. Have a wonderful week ahead btw 🙂

  3. For me its anytime the journey. Goal gives a short lived happiness but being joyful throughout the journey means more. I took up Blog challenge to push myself more into Minimalism because I believe the more we talk about something, the more closer we get. If it was not Minimalism, I would not sacrifice my time for it- just for the sake of increasing Alexa rank. Loved the post.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Upasna. I’m so glad to know that you’re pushing yourself to do the challenge and enjoying it. Thats precisely why one ought to do it, I think. I will be visiting as many of the participating blogs over this coming week and will hop by yours too to chck out your wonderful theme. Bon Courage, Upasna. Best wishes for the remaining 2 weeks. 🙂

  4. Rightly expressed, Esha. Always the journey is the one that brings real happiness and not the destination. You made a wise decision about the blog challenge. More power to you, my dear !!!

    1. Thanks so much, Vasantha. Glad my thoughts resonate with you. Yes, trying to make the journey matter more everyday is important for me right now. Not easy always but worth it by all means.

  5. I agree, life is about the journey rather than the destination. What is the ultimate destination in life anyway…death! When you think about it like this it highlights that we definitely need to focus on the journey and it doesn’t matter, in fact it is preferable, to make a few wrong turns. Pen x #mg

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Pen. It takes a few wrong turns to make us realise what really matters the most. I’m only glad I still have the time to think differently and focus on the journey ahead. In the end, knowing what really matters makes it all worth the while, isn’t it?

  6. This is a question that plagued me and throw me into a depression years back, Should we throw away the moments that we’ve spent working towards those goals, then? How beautifully you put it, Esha.

    I am still working at things to curb the depression which is not fully cured but I am at it and trying to live in the moment. Things took a toll and I gave my everything to things, and yes, we often ignore that voice which is our true calling as humans. It’s the destination, the journey in life and fellow passengers who drop at the next station that makes it worthwhile. It’s about our true calling and decisions we take that will define and refine us as souls and humans.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Vishal. Sorry this reply is delayed as I’ve been on a blogging break over the past two weeks. I am so sorry to hear about the depression thing you mentioned. Can imagine how hard it must have been on you…I recall you hinting at it last time. Well, i do hope that it gets better and that you feel recharged and rejuvenated from all the angst thats been bothering you. I’ve learnt it the hard way that we must listen to that inner voice that reminds us to do things from time to time, to take a break, or pause to catch a breath or break free from routines that sap out our energy. Nothing is more important than our mental and physical wellbeing. Btw, always good catching up with you. 🙂

      1. Yes, i did suffer and it’s been three years from now. It did attack me in places again this week but read on someone blog, let’s not let worry stay as a guest. I will try to focus on positive energy. I haven’t consulted a Doctor but feel what matters is positive energy first. I believe that I will be in control of my life and the I matters lots. It’s cool and do take your time. It’s an education reading you.

  7. That life is a journey with problems to solve and lessons to learn but more than that, it is also about the experiences to live through. And it matters most, how you live those moments.
    .I believe both are imporatnt ,but the journey is the NOW!.We just cant give up nbow for a tomorrow.I believe goals drive us ,but itsimportant to live well now in the moment .Then we wont regret.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, Amrita. True, goals do drive us and at the same time, living in the present moment is equally important. I think wisdom lies in choosing our priorities at the right moment and focusing on what matters most at any given time.

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