One of the biggest misconceptions is the often over-emphasised idea that “life is about the journey and not the destination”.
What it says is that the outcome of whatever you are doing is less important than the experiences you gain along the way.
Sorry, but nope.
It sure sounds nice and zen, but the idea is wrong at best. It is one of the many sayings and concepts that has arisen out of a society that isn’t even aware that it is being suppressed.
Whenever a saying surfaces that is not attributed to anyone in particular, and becomes popular amongst the masses, you can be very sure that it is nonsense.
This is one such example.
Millions of people around the world are suffering when they otherwise need not be. They suffer financially, they’re depressed and they lack purpose.
Many of those struggling subscribe to this ‘journey over destination’ ideology.
So what have I got against journeys?
Let’s look at this in a very primal sense. Think for a moment about our close relatives, the Neanderthal. Imagine a small group of them, in the depths of winter, in central Europe, huddled around a fire by a large boulder.
Their environment lacks tree cover and they are vulnerable to the elements and frequent attacks from wolves. They are also getting dangerously close to running out of food.
They need to traverse open ground and marshland to find food and shelter.
Their survival depends on targeting and finding a destination that provides them with tree shelter, higher ground, and wild hogs to hunt and kill for food.
The journey to get there makes them highly vulnerable, but they have to do it to get to their destination.
Do you see why the journey can be a potentially dangerous thing?
Journeys are in themselves ‘anti-survival’ even though they must be undertaken to get to a destination. Having a target is ‘pro-survival’.
Having direction is the most important thing we have.
Direction is survival, whether you are a Neanderthal, a stockbroker or a designer.
The saying: life is about the journey, not the destination, denies the significance of destination.
It encourages us to demote direction and embrace a shoulder-shrugging ‘anything goes’ attitude.
When this happens, we have a reason to hold back, to relax, to wander, to be aimless.
All of humankind’s greatest wins happened when people prioritised their destination and went for it. They treated destination as survival. They prioritised destination and did whatever it took to get there.
Would we have landed a man on the moon with the approach that life is about the journey, not the destination?
Would we have invented the lightbulb had we subscribed to that philosophy?
The problems we see, particularly in ‘developed’ countries like the States and the UK, is rooted to the complacency and lack of direction among its people. These weak philosophies are what fuel the problems there.
Our experiences and our failures are very important to our growth. There’s no doubt about that. But without a target, a plan or a goal, those experiences become meaningless.
Life is a series of destinations.
Treat it as feedback if you don’t reach the destination you want, and then re-align to a new target if you need to.
Travel, relax, enjoy the moment by all means, but do so with a destination in mind.
You cannot possibly be motivated if you are not facing forward to new possibilities, achievements and expanding into your own unmet potential.
Just don’t cry if you don’t get what you want. Re-adjust the destination and get there as quickly and efficiently as you can with the resources you have.
Life is about the destination, not the journey.
Comment below with your thoughts.