Running is one of my favorite ways to get exercise. There’s something about being out in nature, wind in your hair, sun (or rain!) in your face. . . . It’s just invigorating in a way the gym never can be. On my last run, I got to thinking about my route. I mix up my routes, to keep things interesting, and I do it as I go. It’s not about the destination — it’s about the journey. My goal isn’t really just to get from Point A to Point B. It’s to build stamina and strength.
In today’s American culture, the destination is everything. We want breakfast-to-go, no road traffic, the closest parking spot, the quickest elevator. . . . We want to fly through our to-do lists, close the deal ASAP, make our millions with a 5-year plan. We want results, and we want them now. But more often than not, life gets lost in the process.
I’m just as guilty as anyone. I have workaholic tendencies. I have to force myself to slow down. I have to schedule time to meditate (the Headspace app is amazing for this!). I have to set aside time to take courses and read articles in my professional field. These things are the journey.
5 Ideas to Focus on the Journey
- Read. Take time to learn, expanding your mind with new information and different perspectives. And don’t limit yourself to what you usually read. Branch out and look at other industries’ magazines and blogs. If you’re typically a USA Today reader, check out The Wall Street Journal. If you like genre fiction, try some literary.
- Eat lunch. How many times have you just kept working at your desk right past lunchtime? Sometime around 3:00 you probably realize you feel groggy and headachy. Taking a lunch break will not only fuel your body, it will also give you a mental recharge.
- Meditate. I mentioned it in the article, but meditation has so many benefits when it comes to living life thoughtfully. Meditation slows down the mind and the body (breathing, heart rate, etc.) so you can more fully be present in the moment and observe.
- Take a walk. When you get out in nature, your mind relaxes and allows creativity to flourish.
- Do yoga. (Or any exercise.) Spending too much time at the desk or on the couch isn’t a good thing. We’ve all heard how bad sitting is for us. And according to research, getting up and moving benefits our brains as much as our bodies. Exercise, particularly yoga which teaches mindful breathing, helps us to detach from the daily grind and limber up.
The journey is an irreplaceable part of what will make us truly successful, because the journey is where we grow. And, ultimately, that growth will help us accomplish what we would never be able to otherwise.