Can freedom beat the journey?

Photo credit: frugalvillage.com 
The other day I was talking to someone about "training our brain for success". As it happens so often, this discussion gravitated towards "enjoying the journey". We then spoke about the journey, the ritual, the experience as being ultimate goal (instead of the destination). As soon as this topic started - my attention started to fizzle out like a leaky balloon. I was drained out of energy by the time it was over. It was not the first time that this happened. It is not that I don't agree with this concept. I actually love the little nuts and bolts of building an organization, taking risks and putting in extra effort to understand people and so on and so forth. I am just bored to death with this particular perspective.

I have this theory about the journey vs. destination argument - most people are not sincere when they say "enjoy the journey". They only say it because it is the right thing to say. It is somewhat like the classics. You know the names, you buy the books but you never quite finish reading them. Still, when you are called upon to talk about your story - you find it fashionable to refer to the idea of enjoying the ride.
Connected reading: You don't know if you want something, until you have it.
Every year there a number of projects I start and never finish. Recently I was told that our retail products are not the best looking products on the shelves. A few years back, I had failed to take a B2B product beyond the "first few customers". If I am honest with myself, at-least 5 out of 10 things I do are spectacular failures. 8 out of 10 things don't succeed enough. It is not that I haven't succeeded at all or I look for failure from the outset. I am also aware it is an overkill to brand partial success as failure (it probably is). But deep down inside we all know if we achieved what we set out to achieve. 
Connected reading: We forget. Its in our nature. Write down the real "why"
We can't escape the realization of hitting or missing the mark. We should not; right? Even more so, when it is something close to our heart. Between all the struggle and firefighting, it is kind of easy to forget about the journey. In-fact, a lot of times it is better to have a drink and just forget about the day. How can we be more sincere in trying to enjoy the ride? To me for the crucial ingredient is earning a sense of freedom. Please don't jump to conclusions about financial freedom and retiring early etc. Every body wants that. I am talking about a sacrificing materialistic ambitions to earn your freedom
Connected reading: How can you make life more interesting and meaningful?
I turned a corner, when I gave up on my silly corporate-ladder ambitions. It has been remarkably liberating since then. It has allowed me to (for the most part) do whatever I want. I have kept my feet shackle-free by avoiding substantial debt. The feeling that I have given up trying to get ahead of others, is awesome. I feel hopeful when I see someone succeed. Even failures seem less stressful because they are purely mine. Nobody else has anything to do with them. Being free, makes it is easier to enjoy the journey. When you control all the risks and benefits of all decisions you take, it essentially makes the journey more meaningful (and not just enjoyable).

1 comment:

  1. Would like to share an article from Speaking Tree

    DO THE MATH
    from
    BBC’s Knowledge Magazine
    (As published in Speaking Tree)


    When someone does something or is about to do something, in a way we don’t want it to be done, and we are not able to accept it – we become angry. However, when someone does something or is about to do something, in a way we don’t want it to be done, but we are able to accept it -- we remain tolerant. When someone has something, which we don’t have or someone is able to produce results which we are not able to produce – and we are not able to accept it – we become jealous. When someone has something, which we don’t have or someone is able to produce results which we are not able to produce – but we are able to accept it—we get inspired. When someone is present in our thoughts, but not physically present and we are not able to accept it – we say, “I am missing you”. When someone is present in our thoughts, but not physically present and we are able to accept it – we say, “I am thinking of you”.

    The emotional equation is quite simple.

    Something + Acceptance = Positive Emotion

    Something+ Non Acceptance = Negative Emotion

    So it is not “something” or “someone” that makes us feel positive or negative, but it is our “acceptance” or “non- acceptance” of something, or someone that makes us feel positive or negative.
    It isn’t the world, but the quality of our response to the world -- “acceptance” or “non- acceptance” -- that determines the quality of our emotions.
    Next time you feel disturbed with a negative emotion, instead of asking who or what is disturbing you, examine who or what you are resisting or not accepting that is causing the disturbance. Replace resistance or non-acceptance with “acceptance”, and the negative emotion will turn into a positive emotion.
    Emotional management begins when we stop blaming that “something” or “someone” and start taking the responsibility to respond to life with “acceptance”.

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