Teacher Reset: Enjoy the Journey
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
As you work to rejuvenate your spirit through this series and beyond, one of the most important takeaways of all is this: the marrow of life is found in the journey and if you’re too focused on what lies ahead, you will miss the entire point. All too often we think, “once I accomplish this one big thing — land the dream gig, make a million bucks, marry a gorgeous and smart and hilarious animal lover — I’ll finally be happy.” And we resign ourselves to being unhappy until we accomplish said thing.
And here’s the thing: to reach your truest and fullest potential, you have to set goals. You have to strive. And you have to keep a constant pulse on your focus so you make sure you’re setting your course in the direction of your goals and dreams. But honestly? It’s 100% what happens along the way that matters most. The small moments that make up each hour. The hours that make up a day. The days that make up a week…these bits and pieces (like a patchwork quilt) make up your life. And who you are in these moments — and right now — defines you more than your achievements.
Remember when you broke down your goals into micro goals? Small achievable bits that would make you feel good, build confidence, and motivate you to keep working toward your larger goal? Well, now I want you to reflect back on some of those.
Did you get a fro yo with a friend? Did you go for a jog? Did you spend quality one-on-one time with your grandpa Fred? Whatever micro goal you set and accomplished, simply think back on how it felt. If the goals you set were “micro” enough, they consisted of conversations. Exchanges. Experiences. MOMENTS. They consisted of being present.
And while no conversation, or exchange, or experience, or moment is without flaw, just being in them is a beautiful thing. By taking your mind off crossing some distant finish line, you automatically shifted your attention to the here and now. Mission accomplished.
No matter how noble your cause or how outstanding your achievements, when you set your sights on the far off future, your day-to-day can feel meaningless and hollow. And the worst part is that by saving your happy moments for a day that may or may not come, you’re completely setting yourself up for disappointment. Seriously. If you achieve that one lofty goal — then what? And if you don’t achieve the goal? You’ll feel like a failure and you will have missed out on every bit of incredible that has shaped you, forged your character, and essentially built your life while you were focusing on the prize.
Life is too short to miss out on the little moments, the in-betweens, the present. Give yourself permission to love yourself right now. It’s time to enjoy the journey.