The destination is the journey

Friday, 29 July, 2022 - 3:13 pm

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Photo by Cara Fuller on Unsplash

We’re so used to being focused on a goal that we don’t appreciate the value in the journey. Focusing on the destination can often be detrimental if we don’t achieve the goal. In addition it sets us up for disappointment when we invariably compare ourselves to others.


There’s another way to live and measure success. That’s by thinking of the journey as the destination. Each step along the way is a goal in and of itself - measurable against ourselves. Am I a step ahead of where I was yesterday? Am I just a bit wiser today than I was yesterday? Am I just a little more caring than I was yesterday? Am I just a little more generous than I was yesterday?

As long as I am on a journey, I’m achieving my goal. As long as I am changing, expanding, learning and developing myself I’m achieving my goal. I’m reaching my destination every single day by being mindful of the journey that I am continually traveling.

Our Torah portion alludes to this idea in how it frames the 42 stops our ancestors took on their journey through the desert to Israel. They’re all described as the journey through which we left Egypt. All 42 stops along the way. Obviously there is only one journey from within the Egyptian border to outside the border. After that, while they may be continually distancing themselves from Egypt, they’re not actually leaving Egypt.

Understanding Egypt metaphorically as a constricting and limiting space, - as its Hebrew name, Mitzrayim,implies - we can appreciate the message. Our past accomplishment quickly becomes our new ceiling, our new Egypt. What we achieved yesterday needs to be viewed as good for yesterday but not enough for today. And we can’t settle on today’s accomplishments, tomorrow we have to build on them.

And we don’t have to look outside to measure our success, we measure against ourselves. Staying on the journey is the true destination.

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