Without a destination, your direction doesn’t matter
“All who wander are not lost” -JRR Tolkien?
i appreciate a good exploration. in fact, i feel as though life, in general, is more fun when everything seems like an exploration.
there is a difference between an exploration and a journey. an exploration doesn’t have a destination in mind. an exploration is often part of a journey; you get to a place, and you look around. you get to know the people; it isn’t objective-oriented necessarily.
but for a journey to be complete, it requires some milestones. without milestones, you’re wandering aimlessly – or wandering intentionally. either way, as awesome as wandering is, you will find it frustrating if you’re hoping to accomplish something.
life comes in seasons and waves. throughout the journey of your life, you’ll have periods of exploration, periods of settling, and periods of intentional destination-seeking.
seeking a destination is not outcome-oriented. in most cases, you can get to the destination you look for. it required intention and a fairly consistent practice in the direction of the destination.
but you see – if you don’t have a destination, then your direction doesn’t matter – you lack a sense of direction because you’re not really going toward or away from anything.
i prefer to live a judgment-free life. i want to honor any approach to living. and so without saying it’s good or bad, i can see merits to living in a season of intentional destination-seeking. this season will have milestones, plans, and manifesting of plans. you will find that some terrain you cover are more mountainous than the maps led you to believe, and that there are some milestones you cannot reach. but as part of your journey — and it’s all about the journey — moving toward a destination will bring a sense of clarity, purpose, and accomplishment. it also means you’ll have to say no to some other opportunities or interests. that’s ok. you’re taking a trip. you’re not abandoning your life or interests, but they won’t all suit you for this time.
they key is to design your efforts like you would a trip or a vacation. you decide where you want to go, you figure out how to get there, and then you head out on your adventure. knowing that it will come to an end. knowing that reaching the destination isn’t what makes you a successful or good person or that falling short of it doesn’t make you a loser. you can be invested in a direction and still live free of judgment.
pursuing a destination can be harder than you think. there’s more mental resistance than you anticipate. your psyche doesn’t want you to pursue something and then realize it wasn’t as great as you thought it would be, or that you weren’t actually up to the task; it doesn’t really want to undertake anything where you could be under scrutiny or run the risk of failure. but that’s no reason to not go down the path. a destination will be a vehicle for connection, for contribution, for expression – and it will be a worthy leg of your overall journey that you can look back on with satisfaction. not only that, but the practice will strengthen your own sense of self-trust -knowing that you can pursue your dreams and follow through. this will increase your confidence and improve your dreams: no longer will you seek affirmation – from here on out you can seek actualization.