A Coaching Power Tool By Juliana Lim Siok Hian, Life Coach, BRUNEI
Which Is More Important: Journey vs. Destination
Life is most enjoyable and meaningful when you are present in every moment of the journey. (Gisonni, 2013). Longing for the destination (or what will be), as we often do, only serves to drain your spirit (Gisonni, 2013) in the present.
Most people want to arrive at the destination fast and don’t want to go through the painful journey of getting there. Sometimes you are so caught up in doing just to arrive at the destination, that you stress yourself and neglect the beauty of the journey of who you are becoming.
Instead of focusing on the destination, think about what you can do to make progress towards the destination. (Buggy)
Journey vs. Destination Definition
One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things. Henry Miller
The destination is referred to as the goal in this context. It is the desired end-state of all our striving which requires time and effort to get there. It is forward-looking and future-focused. A goal inspires you to take action and helps set the direction of your journey from where you are now to where you want to be. It is a moment in time of the future. When a goal has been achieved, there will soon be another goal. “The destination changes as we move from one level of life to the other.” (Rez, 2017). The cycle continues. Life seems to keep us chasing from one goal to the next.
The problem is when you are focusing on the outcome of your work and living in the future, you are not accepting what is happening now and that often creates suffering. Thinking you will only be happy and fulfilled when you get what you want. You link personal satisfaction to something outside of your control (Buggy). If you are unaware of it can lead to unhappiness in what you are doing most of the time. So what if you have achieved what you want? You may be happy at that moment in time, but you might have also neglected yourself and the people around you along the way. Not seeing the progress you have made so far, will result in emotional disturbance if your goal doesn’t materialize.
Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it. Andy Rooney
The journey is being present and seeing the work in progress. It is where most of your effort and time is spent trying to reach a destination. It is progressing towards where you want to be and who you want to become. Your satisfaction is linked to something (effort) that’s within your control (Buggy).
The journey prepares you for new and unfamiliar challenges. These challenges serve as an opportunity to learn, grow and build character to make you fit enough to overcome challenges at the destination. Growth does not just occur at the end of the journey.
Sometimes, it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. (Drake)
These challenges could lead to many small wins along the journey. As they are acknowledged and celebrated, it encourages self-motivation and helps gain confidence to continue in the journey. This mindset, allows you to enjoy and be happy with the process.
Be kind and gentle to yourself. When you are able to reflect on how far you have traveled and become a better version of yourself from yesterday; the focus becomes more about progress and not perfection.
The Distinction Between a Journey vs. Destination
Unless you figure out a way to enjoy the journey to achieve those goal, life would become just an endless, meaningless rush from one milestone to next. (Gupta, 2020).
Destination inspires you to start the journey and provides a direction to your journey. If your focus is mainly on the destination,
your life’s journey is no longer an adventure, just an obsessive need to arrive, to attain, to make it. You no longer see or smell the flowers by the wayside either, nor are you aware of the beauty and the miracle of life that unfolds all around you when you are present in the Now. (Tolle, 2005).
Life happens in the present moment, in the journey.
Honor and give your fullest attention to the step that you are taking at this moment. (Tolle, 2005).
It is the journey that will enrich you so that your growth on this journey is not just reaching the destination, but all the benefits accrued along the way. Take time to appreciate the joys, the stumbles, new pathways, and the awakening along the journey. As you go on your journey, opportunities may knock on the door and your destination might change.
The Shift From Journey vs. Destination
- Observe and listen to what the client is focusing on based on their verbal and non-verbal language. Cues that anchor in the destination (future):
- The use of words “I should, could, would, ought”
- Feeling such as unhappy, stressed, anxious, unease, struggle
- Thoughts such as expectations, anticipation
- What are you feeling right now about your journey?
- What is going through your mind?
- What is your body’s sensation trying to tell you?
- Observe, understand and uncover the client’s underlying beliefs, thoughts, and certain patterns of behaviors that create stuck-ness such as seeking external validation, perfectionism, and imposter syndrome, through listening and asking questions to bring about awareness while holding space for the client to explore within:
- Share an observation on conflicting beliefs/ thoughts, and query what you think about that. Or what comes up for you?
- What is true about that? Or what is costing you about that?
- Does it serve you?
- What can you do about it?
- What can you accept?
- What do you need to let go of?
- The shift from Destination to Journey mindset:
- Up to this point, what can you acknowledge about the progress you have made?
- What do you enjoy the most in the journey?
- What is your definition of success?
- What really matters to you right now?
- What can you do now to get to the destination?
- What are you grateful for the progress you have so far?
- What challenges or mistakes did you make in the process that taught you valuable lessons?
- What have you gained from the process so far?
Why the Journey vs. Destination Matter
- Take a moment to go within to observe your thoughts, feeling, and body sensation. Are you living in the present (journey) or living just to arrive in the future (destination)?
- Think of a situation in which you were caught up in the doing of just to arrive at the destination. What “baggage” did you carry into it that may have weighed you down? (ICA Power Tool: Lightness vs Significance)
- What are some techniques that you can put in place to remind yourself to focus on the journey in a challenging situation? (ICA Power Tool: Lightness vs Significance)
“Live in the Present and Enjoy the Journey of Life” Gisonni, D
“Which is more important, journey or destination?” Rez, M
“Which is more important, journey or destination?” Gupta, A
“Journey vs Destination! What’s more important?” Anushka Shukla (Youtube)
“Real Self-Love Habits that changed me” Malama Life (Youtube)
“Journey over Destination: How to Find Consistent Satisfaction in Your Work.” Buggy, P
“The Power of Now” Tolle, E
“ICA Power Tool: Lightness vs Significance” International Coaching Academy