There is something very philosophical, something special about journeys. Each of us interprets it differently. To some it symbolises change, to others the effort, to others yet beauty. Yet perhaps for us journeys remain simply journeys we need to make in order to get to the promised goal, simply something we need to do and be over with? Do we realize the actual importance of the path we tread?
I was never very patient. I want things to happen the first time of asking (as most of us do). I think being patient is an art. Still, enjoying each step of the path you tread is an even bigger one. Whether we call it a path, a process or life, it deserves our true attention because what it will bring us to is simply the end – the end of a journey…
I think the end result is a very small fraction of what we get from a journey, it is indeed the icing on the cake but the journey is all that surrounds us. It’s up to us to choose how to view it or what it should be.
Each of us has their internal dilemmas which usually have to do with our plans or ideas for the future. We’re always planning and plans are part of our organisation but how often do things go as planned? These cases of “success” are perhaps just a few. Plans perhaps only serve to bring order into our everyday lives but we need to realise that the important moment is here and now. This is why rather than being surprised when things don’t go exactly as we wished, we should adapt to the new situation and take advantage of all its good sides. And if we’re completely honest, there is always a good side....
When our plans don’t work out, when our ideas don’t become reality, we’re prone to accept the situation as completely negative. This often prevents us from noticing the major plus hidden between the lines. But when we do learn to find it always, to think beyond the limitations of the plans we’ve made, we realise that what happened was actually the best thing possible, that the situation gave us exactly what we needed at that moment, that things did go according to plan, only not ours but that of fate.
The sooner we realise this, the more we have to gain because our time isn’t endless. Each day can be great if only we are willing to live in the present. The future can be captivating, so captivating it can prevent us from experiencing the moment we have. That’s why we have to be extremely careful and restrained about our dreams of tomorrow.
Of course we can’t just walk without knowing where we want to get. Goals are what gives us orientation, the embodiment of our interests and passions. Without them we could wind up lost , wandering. I think if we don’t have goals, we have no idea who we are. At some point this could make us unhappy and unsatisfied. Sometimes goals only come later, after we’ve started something new, after we’ve rediscovered something. Sometimes we need a little shove, something to wake us up. You’re not necessarily born with goals and it’s only natural for them to gradually take shape if they’re not already there. But I think it’s our duty to never stop looking for them and never let ourselves go with the flow.
This probably means we can find ourselves as we’re walking or, after having gotten to know ourselves well, make decisions in the midst of our journey…
What do I mean? I mean that it’s important to live now, it’s important to enjoy the path we tread to a goal we want to achieve. A life full of achieved goals but with no enjoyment from the journey is as bad as life with no real aims.
There’s one more thing which is extremely important and that’s not travelling alone. At least not all of the time. Sharing the journey is just as important as discovering ourselves. For what is the pleasure of wisdom, of success, of happiness if it’s not shared. Is it really worth it if we’re only doing it for ourselves?
On our journey we meet a lot of people, we lose a lot of people. Yet there is one kind of people who stay. They become our travelling companions and we become theirs. To a large extent they make our journey worthwhile, they make it valuable and real. We could call them treasures because, like the lessons we learn along the way, they make us truly rich and successful.
We reach our goal when we’ve walked the path, accumulated treasures and learned our lessons. Then we look back and remember what we went through. We remember the good and the bad times with some nostalgia, with a smile… If only we could appreciate the journey before it’s over…
Photos by the one and only Chris Burkard