Many people go through life doing the same things day in day out. Holding the same beliefs. Eating the same foods. Speaking to the same people. Living the same lives that they said they would start ‘anew’ last Monday, for past 52 consecutive Mondays. As you can probably tell, this isn’t the most colourful life, and certainly not a way of making the most out of the short time, the very short time, that we have been allocated on this little blue dot.
Some people choose not to do this, some live their lives according to deadlines and schedules. Some define goals and structure their days based on plans, to-do lists, meetings and micromanaging. Some review constantly. In Business, this may sometimes be necessary, but for everyday living, it’s not going to win you points on the good-life-well-lived chart.
Some see their lives as a trip. And this also, is probably not the greatest way of going about living. Living, pay attention to this word.
Some live their lives as if they are on a trip. Some like to go on occasional trips. Now, you may hear trip and think great! Most people like the word trip because it represents change, adventure, excitement, something new. But here’s something rather significant: A trip is limited. A trip is a rather boring way to go about living.
The reason is because trips are planned, they are scheduled, they are thought-out. They are pre-determined. They are largely predictable.
Life my friends, is not like this. Life is unpredictable. Life is unexplainable. Life is in the unknown. Real excitement comes from not knowing; not knowing is life.
Don’t go on trips, go on Journeys.
Journey’s are altogether a different beast. Journey’s represent openness, unpredictability and experience. To go on a journey means to recognize that the ride is going to be a bumpy one that will have many ups and downs. But in the end, the result is a more coloured life with an array of experiences, emotions and wisdom.
If you think of your life as a trip, you will try to predict things, over plan, and map out the future. This is a sure fire fast-track to being miserable, and as Dan Gilbert outlined in his fantastic book Stumbling On Happiness, imagination is hugely error prone and a major cause of dissatisfaction.
Conversely, to live your life as a journey means to be smart, but spontaneous; see the future for what it is without letting it get in the way of the present. It means to in sponge mode; to be a life long learner. It means to colour in every page of your mind with the colours of the rainbow; to become a person of experience. It means to embrace the unknown; to walk down different paths; to read unread books…
Are you on a trip, or a journey?