How to Enjoy the Journey and Stop Getting Ahead of Yourself

 

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway 

Have you ever noticed that people are always chasing the next thing or focusing on the next phase of life? I must admit that I struggle with this at times myself. I can get ahead of myself and forget to stay patient and present. Hey, when you want to achieve your dreams it can make the prospect of today a little less enchanting.

We are so busy creating our desired future that we completely forget to celebrate and admire today.

I believe in moving forward and doing the best we can each day to manifest our dreams, (here is a post to help you do just that) but if we aren’t careful about our intentions we’ll miss out on all the fascinating and exciting stuff along the way.

For instance, one of the clients I am working with currently is completely consumed with the next phase of her life. She is focused on what’s next and moving toward this vision. Helping her move toward this inspiring possibility is a major part of coaching, but in her case, she is so ready to reach the next phase of her life that she’s not having any fun or enjoying her day to day experiences.

She forgot how to be grateful for what she does have and more importantly that her happiness resides within her, not in the external goals she has set. It’s great and actually crucial to have a vision for the future. A vision helps us navigate our journey and make important decisions. But sometimes we get so wrapped up in getting where we want to be we stop enjoying life all together.

We end up dreading the journey and start to believe that our happiness depends on some life circumstances far off in the distance. You may have huge dreams and aspirations and I will support anyone in making these a reality. Just make sure to remember that when a day is over we don’t get that time back.

Five or ten years down the road make sure you can look back with joy at all the great memories you created!

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.” ― Maya Angelou

It’s equally important for your happiness and success to balance living for today and planning ahead for tomorrow.

So for this post, let’s slow down and take a moment to just experience the beauty around us right now.  Here are few tips to help you enjoy the journey if you’re feeling a little disappointed and struggling to stay patient.

You have permission to have fun

Life gets busy doesn’t it? We cram our day full of obligations and responsibilities, and if feels like we’re racing the clock to get things done.

It’s hard to make time for ourselves let alone use this precious time to have some “irresponsible” fun. But that might be exactly what you need. What do you want to do today? What would increase your happiness? Give yourself permission to do something that you really really enjoy doing.

“Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” ― Michael Landon Jr.

Focus on progress and little victories

You may not be exactly where you want to be in life, but I imagine you’re much further along that you were a couple of years ago right? Getting the results we want and the personal growth that supports these results is always a process. It is ongoing and may be a lifelong pursuit.

Recognize how far you have come in life and give yourself credit along the way. It’s easy to focus on all the work there is to still be done and to neglect all the progress we have made. Appreciate the small wins and successes that you have today! Give yourself a fair chance to change the world. It’s no small feat!

Embrace challenges, risks, and mistakes

On any journey there will be challenges and obstacles. For many people these obstacles aren’t viewed as a natural occurrence but as a reason to give up.

If you are going to enjoy the journey learn to have fun with challenges, and practice stepping into the unknown with curiosity and intrigue. Recognize that mistakes are stepping stones. Appreciate them for what they can teach you.

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott

Slow and steady wins the race

The idea of slowing down might seem counter intuitive when it comes to personal growth and improving your life. Why not go all out and make it happen as quickly as possible right? Well, sometimes slowing down is the only way to really gain clarity and experience the fullness of life. It is the frenzied obsession about accomplishing more and more, faster and faster, that leads to burnout and frustration.

Sometimes just slowing down and focusing on the next best step is all that needs to be done. You can enjoy the journey. Every step along the way. Have fun learning and growing, and stay curious about what today has to offer! Do you ever struggle with enjoying the journey? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below!

  • Sam Rose

    It is a rabbit hole at times; in fact, even now, I fear I might begin obsessing over how to BEST enjoy the moment, how to be present MOST EFFECTIVELY and with minimal errors…. I’m a little ridiculous in this way, but I’m working on it. Hunkering down for a marathon instead of sporadically sprinting toward whatever self-improvement goal I think I need to meet at any given time (there have been so, so many).

    Time to stop buying self-help books. Time to stop reading (so many) self-improvement articles. Time to stop watching TED Talks. Time to stop spending so much time thinking about what I need to be doing to make myself better. These things are all good, until they become an addiction and leave no space for anything else.

    Thank you for writing, and effectively calling me out on my bullshit. It is a nice reminder.

    Warm wishes,
    Sam