Sunday, September 17, 2017

Am We There Yet?

Remember as a kid and your parents put you in a car, said you were going to X, and it would be great once you got there? And you always wanted to be at the destination as fast as you could because you didn't want to go in the first place? Or you were tired of going somewhere you didn't know where you were going, or why? Remember how you bugged your parents with 'Are we there yet?' and when the answer was no, you'd whine and sigh and make life miserable for everyone involved?

As adults, we too often have that same destination focus. Except, as adults, it's a bit different.

We say things like:
'Once I get this house, I will be happy.'
'The minute I can get rid of X, everything will be ok.'
'Once Friday gets here, I can relax.'
'When my child becomes X, things will settle down.'

It's the same destination envy we had as children but morphed into adult terms. And we're still unhappy!

As adults, we've forgotten something very, very important.

But before I tell you what that is, let me try to explain it a different way and see if you can guess...

Remember as a kid and your parents told you that the family was going to Disneyworld on vacation?
Or to the beach?
Or to the mountains for skiing?
Or simply on a scavenger hunt and YOU held the map with secret clues?

Can you guess what it is yet?

Remember when you were a kid and the trip was so exciting you couldn't contain your joy?

As adults, we've forgotten what it felt like to have the journey be part of the joy.
We've been so pre-programmed to think deviation is devastation.

But it's not. Oh, it is so NOT devastation.
I remember I used to get upset when I'd take a wrong turn. A wrong turn is an obstacle, as I saw it. And we've all been taught an obstacle is a problem. A wrong turn meant unknown, unfamiliar streets, and trying to figure out on the fly how to get where I was going without turning around (Oh no! you can't go backwards! that's crazytalk!). So I would forge on, not knowing, and be upset that this mistake was adding time I didn't have to my trip, delaying me from getting to my destination.

Until one day I decided to embrace the suck. I decided to enjoy the wrong turns. Wrong turns were now obstacle illusions. I decided to look at the new world magically put in my path. I turned a wrong turn into part of my journey. And it turned out to be a joy. I was no longer irritated by wrong turns. I enjoyed them. I saw so many new things, beautiful things, scary things, weird things, fun things on those wrong turns, that they no longer angered me.

Life is like that.
Once you decide that how your life is, is how it is, and you enjoy, learn, and grow through the 'wrong' turns life throws at you, life ceases to be a huge struggle and and turns into something to be enjoyed, no matter where you are.
The reward is a bigger, richer, more rewarding life. Full of obstacle illusions, yes. But also full of magic, joy, fun, learning, and love.

The destination is the same for all of us. No, not death silly. Happiness. We all want to be happy.
So stop asking life, 'Are we there yet?' which takes happiness out of you, and instead take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and enjoy the journey. Because the journey IS life.



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