How to actually focus on your journey, not your destination.
And I don't mean your upcoming four hour road trip! 😂 You're bound to hear countless people preaching about this (me included if I'm honest! Basically because it just helps keep me level so often!)
And you've gotta admit, in theory it does sound like the most sensible approach to have, right? The approach that gifts you with contentment not resentment? But how on earth do you freaking do it? Implement it? Live it?! 😣
Well today I'm gonna share some tricks with you that I use to keep me on this path – 'cause it's important to note that once you're on it, you don't automatically get a pass to stay on it. You've gotta persist at it, and reign yourself back in from the edge when you feel yourself veering off into your dirty old 'destination' habits again.
So first of all, I'm guessing if you've chosen to read this, you're a pretty driven person who always likes to have a 'destination' to focus on. You probably spend most of your time focusing on the future rather than the present, and your daily life often centres around goals; making them, working on them, achieving them. Plus, when you don't really have a destination to focus on for whatever reason (maybe you got there and need a new one?), everything feels a bit empty and unsettled. Sound about right? 🙋🏻 Erm, that's a yes from me Bob!
If only we could drill it into ourselves that;
I have to admit though, since I conceived this whole imperfect life vision back in 2016 and became a mama too, I've gotten A LOT better at being in the present and savouring 'my journey' more. (As bloody bananas as my journey is!) To be honest, this was probably helped with being physically forced too! Y'see there's no longer room for my daydreaming and whiling away the hours on a laptop planning the future, when an 18 month old is yelling 'Maaaaa Maaaaa Maaaaa....' in my face. [And I thank you for that Lola 💋 thank you for keeping me in the present. Maaaaa loves ye]. But still, even if I did get a shove here, when I do have my time slots to work and plan and be under pressure, I feel a helluva lot more content in my challenges (hellooooo time management, multi-tasking and Kickstarter! Gah!), and I'm a helluva lot more content about my present and future too.
So now you know how I kinda got there, how do I stay in that place?
I make time in my life for stuff that has no goals attached to it
This basically translates to doing stuff just for fun and just because you enjoy it. No end goal, no pressures. Just stuff that's 100% about living and being in the moment. I'm talking things like cookery, baking or cake decorating classes, calligraphy workshops, learning to play the drums, getting your paints and easel back out. Whatever! For me, this 'stuff' right now is Zumba 😁 I have such a ball throwing my body into all kinds of shapes, and there's no end goal in sight. No grand performance I'm working towards, just me using my body like a lunatic (while I'm in the stage of my life when I can). Simple as that.
What this does is it anchors you in something you enjoy – just for the sake of enjoyment. I mean, how crazy are you for doing something just for the fun of it!? 😊 You're forcing yourself to do something that's 'in the moment' too. And that's so so beneficial, because chances are, if you're hyper-destination-focused, everyday life en route to your goal(s) is actually a bit of a struggle.
I take a step back from time to time and remind myself of something I've already achieved
This is a great one when you think you're all about living in the moment and enjoying the journey, and then you start to feel that familiar, weighty pressure build that's telling you 'you're never gonna get there/make it/get what you want' (i.e, focusing on the destination again – don't we just tell ourselves the cutest of things?!) 🙄
So when you're in that headspace, cast your mind back. Maybe you bought a house and did it over from scratch. Was the day you put the last cushion in place the most enjoyable bit? Honestly? Or was it the weeks/months/years of research, sketches and design of what you were going to create, the knocking down walls, the shopping for and deciding on furniture and accessories and paint colours and...? Or maybe you spent a few years of your life studying for a degree. Was your graduation day at the end of it all the most enjoyable bit? Or was it the ridiculous initiation ceremonies you took part in with your fellow freshers, the cheap, Tuesday student-night sessions dressed in a toga [bedsheet] in mid-winter, or getting to know your lifelong friends? Hmmmm...
Was the most enjoyable bit achieving it in the end? Or was it what you learnt or gained in the process of achieving it? 🤔 Ponder on that one, I know the conclusion I always end up with and it always brings me right back on track.
I try and be a better me, not better than someone else
I know you've been there. Feeling envy for that someone you maybe went to school with who's been crazy-successful. They seem to lead a total dreeeeeam life online, and you hate seeing it if you're honest, but you can't click away either. Every time you see them, you slip into the mode of, 'K, I just need to find a way to earn £100k, get a bigger gaff, sort a new car, vaykay in New York and The Maldives, and then I'll be happy. Sounds riddick right when you see it written out? But it's what we tell ourselves every day of the freaking week! Not word for word perhaps, but that tone and perspective for sure. We won't allow ourselves to feel grateful for who we are, what we have and where we are right now, because someone else has it 'better'.
If you need a bit more support in this area btw, I wrote this piece a few weeks back on how to stop comparing yourself in an instant – I'm not trying to brag 😂 but as I mention in that post, I genuinely don't compare myself to anyone anymore (I tell you how you can too). And I promise you, it's such a weight off your shoulders. If ever I feel like I've hit a bit of a slump (which I do, don't get me wrong!), instead of wishing I had what someone else has, I think about where I was 6 months ago, 12 months ago, two years ago or even 5+ years ago (as a person I mean, not exactly where I was 😁), and I remember how much I've truly grown. It's such a comfort to feel pride in yourself and where you're at right this moment, whatever your own personal journey happens to be. (Plus it's waaaay better than the comparey-alternative I mentioned!) Give it a try. What kind of things have you achieved, personally, professionally or even mentally over the past few months or years? Remind yourself and feel proud of them.
If you know of someone you think really needs to hear this too, then please be the reason they see it ♥️️ until next week gorgeous face 💋