“The road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began”
– J R R Tolkien
There is always something beyond what we have done, a next step, a new opportunity or challenge.
And that can be quite a scary prospect sometimes at some level. After all, if we do whatever it is we have finally summoned up the courage to do, face the challenges we have been dreading, risk the failure we have feared all with the aim of achieving a result, then the realisation that this is not the end of our troubles or labours, but that we will have plenty more to face, can be unpleasant.
More than that, it can actually cause us to choose at an unconscious level to not even attempt the thing we want to do. Because if we don’t start this thing then we won’t finish it, and that means we won’t then have to face the next step, right?
Well, yes, it might mean that, but it doesn’t stop the road we are travelling from continuing! We will still travel down this road, but without having the things we want. The journey continues regardless of whether we want it to or not.
So what can we do? Clearly doing nothing, whilst being perhaps the least scary course of action, will not help us to achieve anything and in some cases doing nothing will cause us to fall further and further behind – just like when we are treading water, it might take a lot of effort just to remain still.
What if, instead of falling in love with the destination, we fell in love with the journey?
What if, instead of being in love with the outcome, we fell in love with the process?
What would that do for us?
Well, it actually brings us two things.
First of all, it reduces the importance of the outcome. Why do this? By making it less essential, we relieve ourselves of some of the artificial pressure we are giving ourselves. And that not only reduces stress but also opens us up to being able to be open to other possibilities should they come along and be even better; possibilities which we might otherwise miss if we were tightly focused on absolutely having to have that outcome.
And the the second thing we get by falling in love with the process or journey, we actually get to enjoy everything which happens along the way, and we enjoy the fact that the journey never actually ends – what better outcome could we have than to enjoy the whole journey and to keep on enjoying the road as it goes ever on and on, filled as it is with unforeseen challenges, opportunities, struggles and rewards.