Goals and values

It’s all about the journey, not the destination

“It’s all about the journey, not the destination” is a phrase that has changed my perspective on a lot of things. Whether it’s finding the positives in a job that I didn’t like, not getting something I applied for or recognising the value of writing a blog 🙂

It’s become one of my mantras for how I live my life and how I look back at my life.

Look for things that give intrinsic value – Instead of thinking about the kudos and accolade I might get from being good at something, I focus on doing things that I find enjoyable whether or not I’m going to get recognition. This perspective took a long time to develop, because as I kid I was always told the opposite. “Practice piano and one day you might become a famous pianist”. How about play the piano because you enjoy the process of creating music? This mantra has helped me a lot in evaluating the things that I am spending my time doing, and asking – why? Who am I doing it for?

Of course it’s always great if you can align something you enjoy with something that will generate external value, but this should be a side benefit and not a driving factor. There’s also many ways of doing the same thing. You could write blog posts that never get published and still get the same intrinsic enjoyment, but if all you then have to do is hit ‘publish’ and you can share it with the world, isn’t that an added bonus with not much more effort required?

Appreciate the growth and experience – What is more valuable, producing a beautiful painting or learning how to paint beautifully? It’s the latter of course, because you can go on to produce as many painting as you want. The point is that the growth that you get through a learning process is what’s important, and is what can be nurtured and built upon.

This is especially important when you have an experience that might have been a bit negative, like a particular job. You can always find lessons learnt and things that you didn’t know before, that you can take forwards and be grateful for the wisdom gained from experience.

Don’t cling to the outcome – When you apply for a job but don’t get it, is all you effort wasted? Of course not. You got the practice of writing a job application, you might have even got practice at an interview and perhaps feedback. It all stands to make your next application even stronger.

I also like to think of this in terms of possessions. What happens if a great picture you draw gets ripped? The single item is gone, but the talent you developed in producing it is still within you. This helps me a lot when decluttering craft and art items that I have created.

Have you had an experience where the journey was worth so much more than the outcome? Please share in the comments!

4 thoughts on “It’s all about the journey, not the destination”

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