Journey Not a Destination

By David Valentine, co-founder of Rethink and partner/practitioner of the Veritas Lifestyle and Veritas Life Adventures


Lose 30 pounds.

Read 24 books by the end of 2015.

Take at least 1 day of the week to myself.

I love setting goals, and, attaining them. There’s something about proving to myself that I can accomplish whatever I steel myself towards. Whether it’s a physical, spiritual, or emotional goal achieving them is a fantastic feeling.

I’ve learned over the years that I have to see goals as markers in my life instead of destinations. This is the reason why so many ‘diets’ fail. People will diet, or change their eating habits temporarily, to lose weight. They may lose all the weight they wanted, but when they end their diet, they go back to their poor eating habits and put the weight back on.

The point is not just to reach your goals, but to build on them.

Your life is not a static reality, but a dynamic one. You are not the same person you were last year, two weeks ago, or even 5 minutes ago. You’ve changed, transformed, and grown in a multitude of ways. This is one of the reasons why we have to see our goals as markers in a long journey of life rather than destinations.

If you have a weight goal you’d like to reach before swim season, you’ll want to set a new goal for the end of the year. The new goal may not be to lose more weight, but it may be to run further (which will of course effect your physique). Setting goals to be a more generous person is not something that ceases after you’ve achieved giving more in one season, but rather is something that happens over the course of your life.

We like destinations, but journeys are the stories we love.

Destinations are nice, because they have a finitude to them. If you’re running a marathon it will eventually, after you’ve slowly died, come to an end. Your sports season has an end to it, where the games, practices, and torment is no more. Your child’s terrible two’s stop when they hit three, hopefully. The stories we love, the ones we cling to, are long arching journeys where the protagonist has to overcome insurmountable odds on a regular basis. We love the stories where characters grow and change for the better, as a result of a long period of reaching their goals and overcoming obstacles.

Life is a brilliantly beautiful journey. Your goals are markers that point back to a larger truth, that you are transforming into a different, hopefully, healthier individual. Embrace the journey, and find a new purpose to your goals.