‘The journey is the goal’. I used to always be busy with some object to be achieved. Certainly too busy to take the words in.
Then one day, the meaning just hit me like a sledgehammer. I realized that I had spent my whole life obsessively active, always aiming for a goal, whether completing some project or finding a solution to some problem.
I was always looking for the end result and missing the journey there – missing the moment and everything that happens along the way.
Jump to a Section
The journey is the goal
I started moving my attention from the result to what was in front of me – the moment.
I slowed down and opened my eyes. Opened to what was right here. Looking at what it was that I was doing.
It really is just that simple. Stop. And See.
The problem comes when we complicate things. We bring in theories of how to stop, how to see. Forgetting that we are already looking we try and forcefully concentrate on whats in front of us. But what is there is already seen.
It’s like saying – how to practice hearing? It’s almost foolish. You already are hearing everything, we just do not notice that thats whats happening.
I slowly began to enjoy the small things of life, to see that there is beauty everywhere when you look from the right perspective, that there are friends everywhere when you are open and available. To see that life is not a problem to be solved – but is to be lived.
Life becomes a very different experience when you are not focused on getting somewhere but are simply enjoying each step along the way.’ Instead of it being a list of things to accomplish, it becomes a fluid movement of one thing to the next.
There is no finish line, nothing to race toward. No end goal to achieve. No end at all, except when death comes to take us.
Why it’s so difficult to not be goal orientated
The mind only exists in the future and the past. The present moment is always slipping away into the past, and the future is always rushing toward us.
The mind cannot comprehend the present moment because it is always either imagining the past or dreaming about the future. The present moment is too simple for the mind to understand. It can only understand the world of ideas which always exists in time. Things like goals, objectives, plans, and strategies are all filled with the future encoded in them.
The mind is like a computer. It needs data (goals, objectives, plans, and strategies) to process. Without data, the mind doesn’t know what to do.
The mind is so programmed to seek out goals and objectives that it doesn’t know any other way to live. It is so programmed by culture and society that it doesn’t even know it’s programmed. It’s like the Matrix.
We are so used to things the way they are – we do not there is any other option. We do not know that there is even another way to live.
What is the way?
The way is to see – that the present moment is all there is. Wherever you go, no matter how far, you’re always staring at the present moment. It is something that you can not ever escape, and yet it feels like it is always slipping through our fingers.
It’s so near to us that we can not escape it.
We are never fully able to grasp the moment. The only way we feel able to do this is when the present moment takes us.
Usually, it comes in the form of a sunrise, a new experience, or a moment when life grabs our attention. These moments shock us back to existence. And when it passes, it tells of another possibility.
Rushing toward completion we miss what is right in front of us. Little do we know that what we are really looking for is right there, right beneath us. The future brings with it all the hopes, dreams and desires that we hope to become and achieve, and when we do get there, if we ever do, that moment of completion is short lived.
It never is what it was hoped it would be. And so we jump back on to the wheel of desire in hopes that may next time it will be different. And so the movement continues, the endless circular cycle of things that never ceases.
The only way to break that cycle is to jump off the merry-go-round. To step off is to cease to live in time. To cease living in the minds tomorrows and yesterdays.
Something that was never truly there to begin with.
What's Your Reaction?
Jake is a yoga and meditation teacher. He loves stream-of-consciousness writing, good coffee, and a quiet mind. Not necessarily in that order. You can find him pursuing that wherever he goes.