How To Live Your Cherished Dreams
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson.
” It’s good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway.
I’ve been pondering these wonderful quotes lately, because, though they absolutely ring with truth, we often find ourselves doing just the opposite in life. We get impatient, desperate and frustrated during the journey, because we think the finish line is too far away. We think that every hurdle is there to stop us living our dreams. We get tired of climbing the mountain because we’re thinking of the billion steps we still have to take to get to the top, rather than what each step up feels like.
I don’t always remember to live by the wisdom of these quotes, but, when I travel, I absolutely embody them without trying to. I tick countries off my bucket list and the minute I’ve discovered the new place, a desire arises to explore another one. I’ve come to love travel so much though, that even when I walk into an airport, no matter where I’m going, I’m immediately soaked in complete fulfilment.
I love checking in, I love going through security, I love finding a comfy chair to wait on and I even love the crappy food choices I get to make. I love hearing the boarding call, I love lining up to get on the plane, I love saying ‘Hi’ to my seat when I find it and I love checking out the menu, the movies and the other people on the plane.
Before I even get to experience the thrill of take off, let alone the arrival, I’m loving the journey so much that the outcome is irrelevant. Therefore, if my flight gets delayed, if I miss a flight or if things don’t go to plan somehow, I’m usually in the midst of a lot of grumpy people but I’m still really loving it… because it’s all part of the journey I chose to embark on.
When I look around at the people who are grumpy, I see them making choices that propel irritating situations into absolute disasters. I’ve seen people yelling at the check-in crew because they can’t accept that they won’t make their destination on time – even though all the yelling in the world is not going to get the plane off the ground. It’s just not. What’s the outcome of this type of non-acceptance? You get hauled off by security and you’re probably not going to be allowed on the flight, when it does take off. You’ve singlehandedly delayed yourself further.
I’ve seen people huff, puff, whinge, squirm, sigh and argue with their companions until they’ve worked themselves into a state of total, red-faced frustration. Choosing this attitude, though not as extreme, is also not going to get the plane off the ground. It will, however, make you feel a thousand times worse for not even one, tiny, miniscule skerrick of a reason.
The point is, the plane will eventually take off. You will eventually get going again – even if it means you have to ’get going’ back home to start the journey again. With that knowledge and the acceptance of ‘what is’, rather than become impatient, you get excited to go to the book shop and choose your next favourite read. Rather than yelling at the staff to change something they obviously can’t change, you start figuring out how to rearrange your life to fit in with the new schedule. Rather than channelling energy into feeding useless frustration, you look around to find options to stimulate yourself for the hours ahead.
And you know that the longer you’re delayed, the sweeter the arrival will actually be.
This is what enjoying the journey means. Not just the good parts of the journey – all the parts. Obviously, you’re not going to be jumping for joy during the ‘delays’ in life, but, if you only take the time to notice, there’s an odd sort of quiet joy within delays, setbacks and challenges. This quiet joy only makes itself known to you, if you fully immerse yourself in the present moment, rather than fight it.
There is always a shiny gem hiding in the noise, confusion and drama of a setback. If you’re present with the journey, at every step of the way, rather than rushing, shoving and clawing your way to the finish line, you’ll find the gem. When you get to the finish line, you may even realise that finding that gem was the most inspiring part of the journey; much more so than the ‘climax’ of reaching the finish line.
Though your cherished dream may have a hoped-for outcome, once you’ve stepped foot on the journey towards it, it’s at that very point that you’re already, 100%, living it. If only you notice.
Nicole Leigh West is the author of ‘The Gypsy Trail’ YA fiction novel, a Travel and Lifestyle writer, Reiki Practitioner, Mentor and joyful creator of The Spiritual Room.
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