Title: The Joy is in The Journey
By: Louisa Rodriguez of Mowgli Restaurants
When we embark on a goal, the road to it can seem long, we can wonder how we are going to get there? We can also have the desire to rush to the goal not realising one important part of achieving the goal, the journey.
The journey to the goal is as equally if not more important than the goal. The goal is the end game, but the journey is where we transform, the journey is where we grow, the journey is where we learn, the journey is where we meet new people, gain experience and the journey is where we experience life.
However, we often don’t value the journey until it’s over, so I am here to remind you of the importance of the journey.
I have a passion for endurance running, one of the reasons I love endurance running is because of the journey each race takes you on. In many ways I feel like endurance running reflects life and I am going to share this with you, because the journey to the finish line of a ultra-run reflects the journey of achieving any goal:
1. Sometimes running is like life, at times it is going to hurt, it will be scary, and you will think I can’t do this, but you can.
When we set a goal, one that is out of our comfort zone, this is exactly what it can feel like, scary and you think you can feel, how am I going to do this? You may hit a pain barrier, that means you are pushing out the comfort zone, that is where the growth happens. It helps to break down the goal into small bite size chunks. When I set out to complete a 100-mile race, at the start if I had focused on the 100 miles ahead, it would have overwhelmed me so I broke it down into small chunks and focused on just 10 miles at a time, each time I reached each goal of 10 miles, I smile, and say great if you can do that you can do the next ten. Break down the goal into small achievable chunks and remember a feeling of discomfort is a good thing it means you are pushing out of comfort into growth, stick with the discomfort it will be worth it!
2. Sometimes you may feel lost and not sure where you are going, you may need to redirect your course, ask for help, know this this is ok because it is your journey!
Sometimes on the way to reaching goal we can lose our why, get distracted, get a bit lost as to where we are going, its ok to take a moment, breath and adjust the plan, its ok to ask for help. On several runs I have found myself getting a little lost of course, but then I have always found another runner and we help each other back on track. Also remember that comparison is truly the thief of joy, you never really know what someone else is going through, or know someone else’s journey, so focus on your own goal and your own timeframe, it does not matter how fast you move, just that you keep moving, remember the tortoise and the hare, the tortoise still got there!
3. Enjoy the journey, be in the moment, embrace the people you meet and the experiences you have on the way – because this is where the magic happens!
If we are constantly focused on the next thing, the next thing, the goal, we miss some of the joy that is in the journey, because on the way to anywhere, we never know who we will meet, where we will end up. When we are present in the moment, we open our eyes and ears to the world around us, allowing us to notice more and we may just learn things that are important to us reaching the goal. Being open to each moment, you may meet someone new who may have a message for you. I have made some great friends from Ultra running, seen some beautiful things during running just from being open and present in the moment, you want to look back and think I made the most of that journey so embrace every step of the journey to your goal because it is in the journey that we experience life!
4. Ultimately, it is your journey and only you can get yourself to the finish line.
When I am running an endurance race, people can help me along the way, give me food, words of encouragement, run with me, but no one can do it for me, it is me that must cross that finish line. Just as it is you who will reach your goal. In reaching your goal whatever it may be, this is where persistence, determination, believing in yourself, in your vision will keep you going to the finish. In reaching that finish line, remember to look back, recognise the journey and how far you have come, because you deserve to celebrate your success!!