Monday, 15 February 2016

Live For The Journey, Not The Destination

Image from San Diego Children and Nature (

"Ashes to ashes and dust to dust" - we all have the same destination ... its how we get there that matters.

"Life's short enough as it is without rushing it" ~ Terry Wogan

Like the girl in the image - you don't have to hurry along the path, enjoy the walk - stop off along the way and spend some time to appreciate what's on the path. 

“Life is a journey, not a destination”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I remember hearing a radio program about different cultures approaches to travelling - how, heading to the Alps for instance, the English would try to do the journey in one long session to maximise time at the destination - often arriving tired and exhausted when they got there. In contrast, the program said that the French like to take their time on the journey, often stopping overnight on the way and enjoy the whole experience - arriving at their destination relaxed and ready.

Today I like to go running "off grid" taking no watch or paying any attention to time but enjoying the run and the surroundings - my running hadn't always been like this. Like so many people I used to time my runs  and I would try to "zone out" so that I didn't feel the pain but didn't see the surroundings much either - I might as well have been running inside on a treadmill. My runs became a race against the clock I wasn't enjoying running anymore. I decided to run differently - to run random routes, appreciate the surroundings and not to time running ... today I don't even take a watch with me. In September 2007 I wrote "Loneliness of the long distance educationalist" with the sub title "Don’t forget the Journey  (It’s a Zen Thing).  I applied the ideas of enjoying the journey rather than measuring it to education - it was an early bit of my thinking about how measurement and testing affects education ... almost 10 years on nothing has changed ... in fact there is more testing and measurement than ever.

"It ain't what you do its the way that you do it"

Its not what you make but how you make it that matters. Where I would be concerned with trying to make things with the kids - I would watch with wonder how they would have a lot more fun just hammering nails into a bit of wood with my dad. Its only on reflection so many years later that I realise how good my dad was on the journey - being poor we had to make the most of what we - we couldn't go to all sorts of places but it didn't matter - every Sunday we would go for walks around where we lived - it didn't matter where we went - we enjoyed being out and about and drawing in the surroundings.

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour" ~ William Blake

When I was a student back in the 1977 I went to a "talk" by a Buddhist monk - in fact he didn't talk all but I do remember that he simply held up a flower for us to look at for ages and ages. I later came to realise that this was the Zen Flower Sermon .I found this profound - it's easy to look at something but not see it, but if we take the time we can see the beauty in everything and anything - just open your mind and appreciate things for what they are.

"Today is a gift; that's why they call it the present" ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.” 

― Walt Whitman

Be Mindful It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.

In our busy, highly connected and mediated world its quick easy and convenient to look outside of ourselves for definition and construct identity through existential consumption becoming - trading our selves for identikit personalities. Look inside as well as outside - take your time and appreciate the inner journey as well as life's journey for they go hand in hand.

“Everyone is gifted, but some people never open their package” ~ unknown
"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken" ~ Oscar Wilde

1 comment:

  1. “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown