We’ve all heard a variation of the saying ‘enjoy the journey’, right?
- It’s not the destination that matters, but how you get there.
- Enjoy the ride.
- Enjoy the process
- Life is a journey, not a destination, etc.
And those sayings really apply to not just life in general, but all the smaller pieces within our lives. Our work, our businesses, our relationships, love lives and families, and our health.
So what does this really mean? And is it something we can understand simply by hearing it said once or twice or ten times? The thing that I’m starting to realize is that we can intellectually understand these sayings. We all hear them and think ‘yes! That’s so true’. And we even repeat them to our friends or post them on our Facebook walls.
But that’s about it, for the most part. If you disagree with me, please let me know and share your experience!
Sometimes, events happen in our lives that put a lot of these sayings and quotes into perspective. When someone close passes away, the sayings ‘cherish every moment’ and ‘live every day like it’s your last’ come into focus. And at that point, they make sense. You experience them and you feel them, and at that moment in time, you are actually internalizing the meaning.
And these events happen at varying degrees. It’s not always a traumatic or painful experience like death or bankruptcy. It happens when we fall in love or get married. When we build up enough courage to leave a job we’re unhappy at or ask someone out. It happens after years of dedication and sweat, working towards a larger goal or accomplishment.
And different people have different opinions on whether the negative or positive experiences teach us more or have a longer lasting effect. But we’re all going to experience both, and what’s important is to acknowledge what is happening in those moments.
But do we have to rely on these big, momentous occasions to come along to learn and grow? Isn’t that essentially the same as waiting around?
Seeking Out Perspective
We want to be proactive in our lives, in our journey of personal development and growth. So here’s a challenge for everyone. (And this came to mind after an experience last night.) Be proactive.
Look for opportunities to grow. We certainly want to learn from our experiences – our mistakes and triumphs – but don’t stop there. Don’t wait for life to teach you its lessons. Be on the lookout for opportunities to apply what you’re learning now.
I was sparring with my kickboxing coach last night. We had both taken a few weeks off from sparring while learning some new stuff and traveling for a conference. So last night, we were both gassing out sooner then we normally would. By the 5th round, I was breathing heavily. My side was in pain and cramping up. I was ready to say ‘enough’.
Two Things Happened At This Point
First, I realized this was a good thing. With fitness, as with business, you can’t make any real progress with out going through a period of discomfort. When training, almost all the progress comes AFTER you reach that point of discomfort, fatigue and exhaustion. When you push yourself past that point, that’s where the real gains are.
We’re taught to make that feeling our friend. We’re told to get used to it and to ultimately embrace it. Last night, I embraced it. I felt the discomfort and I thought to myself ‘Good’… And now I realize, I have to start looking forward to that feeling with my business.
Second, right after that, my coach says ‘Man, this is so much fun, isn’t it?’ I mean, I’m exhausted at this point, my coach is basically whooping my butt in the ring (he’s a former World Champ, so… there’s that), I’m cramping up and gasping for breath… so I wasn’t exactly thinking about how much fun I was having at that moment.
Then he asked me if I could go one more round. I had started to take my gear off, but I said ‘Yes’. Put my gear back on and went one more round with him.
I realized that he didn’t become a kickboxing world champ by only focusing on results. He loved it. He enjoyed it. He enjoyed the process. And trust me, he was just as tired as I was, if not more.
But he still enjoyed every minute of it. And right in that moment, I took that lesson. I need to enjoy every moment of this process. Not just every now and then, but the whole journey.
The Lesson Is Where You Look For It
It wasn’t just a quote that I read or heard someone say. It was that lesson in action, in the middle of it all. And instead of just reading it and nodding, I experienced and felt it in my body. What a great way to end the day!
My point is that this was just another night, another day in the life. These opportunities to grow and apply what we know are all around us. Challenge yourself to look for these lessons. Push yourself to grow on a daily basis. If you read something that has you nodding, then actively look for an opportunity to apply it in real life.
As the saying goes: “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.”
Get out there and involve yourself!
To Your Success,