It’s so easy to think about the final result when we start a task. But its just as important to enjoy the journey of getting there as it is to celebrate finally achieving the end result.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Emma.
Emma: Hi, Brittany.
Brittany: So, today I wanna talk about, I know sometimes you go back and forth, actually, this is why I love our podcast from like history to, you know, different the ways government works to some life advice. And today I wanna give some general life advice and that is why you should enjoy the journey, not the destination. So what does that mean? So I think a lot of times, well you know what, let me actually just tell a story. So when I work out, I go running on a treadmill a lot and for the first five minutes there’s always this like, I don’t wanna do this, but I still have, you know, four to five miles to run. I just need to get through this and just picture how good you’re gonna feel at the end. That’s what’s gonna get you through. And I’ve been really good lately at stopping myself from thinking this and instead putting myself in the present moment and saying, okay, instead of thinking about how great it’s gonna be when I don’t have to do this anymore when I’m done, I’m gonna think about what’s cool about right now. And that’s really helped me actually respect my body a lot more. Cuz I just think when I’m running, I’m like, how cool is it that I have two legs that work, you know, that I have a body that’s able to run. Yes. And keep up with this pace and how great that is. And I have, I know you talked about the last episode, how you try to eat healthy snacks. I have like a sugar problem and I’ve just been on like a cookie craze lately. But, even then I’m able to say, and I’m not privy to this like it almost makes me want to eat better because there’s this feeling of like. So true. You know, like, my body can do all this. Like I respect my body more. I should be enjoying that. I’m able to do this and I’m here in this moment running. So, that’s kind of what I mean by enjoying the journey, not the destination. And let’s talk about even learning how to do something or getting better at something. You know, maybe it’s the piano. I know when I try to teach myself a new piano song, it can be really frustrating when I don’t get it right away. When it takes me a little bit to make sure my fingers are going in the right position so that I can transition from chord to chord. Well, but every time I do that, every time I mess up, or every time I am learning in the process, I am learning, right? I’m getting a little bit better. I’m learning what not to do. What’s that great quote from, well it’s a national treasure, but it’s not national treasure. Edison, they say like, Edison, it took him like 2000 tries to make the light bulb. Oh yeah. They asked him in something and he said, I learned 2000 ways how not to make a light bulb because he failed. And I like that. Cuz again, that was, he got to the destination of creating the light bulb eventually, but during all the times that it took him, you know, forever and I would imagine probably being so frustrated if I were him, but he learned so much on the way so we can learn so much on the way to fulfilling a goal or on the way to just doing anything that I think it’s so important for us to do that because so many of us don’t live in the present. Meaning we don’t live in the right now. Yeah. We’re constantly thinking of what we have to do next or you know, where we wanna be when we finish. And so I think it’s really important. That’s why I wanna talk about this today, about just enjoying the journey and you know, taking a minute to say like, oh this is really, it might be hard right now, but I’m learning so much. So, Emma, I don’t know if you have some stories you wanna share.
Emma: Yeah, absolutely. I think I am very much a goal and like outcome-motivated person same. So I can totally get stuck and really obsessed with like achieving a certain benchmark or like, you know, getting a certain thing done to the point where I can totally lose sight of how important the journey actually is itself. And I think a huge factor in this can even be like contentment where it’s, you know, there’s a balance between being, you know, maybe you’re a little bit passive or you kind of get complacent in your life, which is where you sort of are fine with whatever. That’s not really what I’m talking about, but like, here’s an example. So I live in Nashville and Nashville is one of the craziest, fastest-selling house markets in the country right now. And houses are selling faster here than in literally any other city. And my husband and I have been trying to buy a house and right now we live in an apartment and I keep thinking, oh well once we get a house I will, you know, decorate the way I like it and get all my stuff organized and like, you know, get everything set up and plant my plants and stuff cuz we just have like this little balcony. And I kinda had this moment where I was like, if I am going to wait until we have a house to do all of these things that are gonna make our quality of life so much better, that’s really silly. And so I took a couple of weeks to, you know, organize our books so that we are able to find our favorite books when we want them and like, set up my pantry in a way that made sense so that I didn’t have to make a mess every time I wanted to cook something. And, it sounds kind of silly cuz it’s small stuff, but being okay with where I’m at currently in life and not being like, well I’ll wait to get all this stuff done until we have like the perfect situation. It’s made life a lot more enjoyable because, you know, now we have like some plants growing on the balcony and it makes me really happy. And I think setting up like your everyday life in a way that you enjoy is really important. And we’ve talked about the importance of routine and you know, having things that you do every day that are good for you and that make you happy. I think that’s really huge and I think that’s kind of another way to look at the sort of the journey that you’re on. It’s like your whole life is this journey and you’ve gotta set up, you know, things and systems and habits in your life that are fulfilling and that, you know, fulfill the things that are important to you rather than just kind of going from one objective to the next. And that’s not to say that objectives are not like very helpful and very important, but I think it can be so easy to get really obsessed with them to where you almost forget what you’re doing every day. And I think, you know, not to get cheesy or anything, but life is really short and I think, you know, it’s very good to be present in the moment of where you are and appreciate the little things that you, you maybe might lose sight of if you’re only thinking about that destination and not so much the journey.
Brittany: I think you’re absolutely right and you said something I really like about life being more enjoyable that way. And I think that’s a really good point because if you’re constantly dreading everything you have to do And that’s why I did this with working out right is it was like, yeah, alright, this has turned into something I hate doing or I really don’t enjoy doing and I’m only doing it for the results instead of like enjoying every moment and trying to find joy and contentment in every second of that. So I think you’re right. I think it makes everything in life more enjoyable. I think it makes you a more positive person because you’re able to say like, okay, like what good can I find in this experience? And we’ve talked about gratitude a lot and I think that that’s kind of part of this right? Is you can find gratitude in each of the things you’re doing, even in the hard moments. And that’s really good. I think it teaches you resilience, which is this ability to stay strong in the face of a lot of adversity in the face of trials. Cuz if you’re learning to enjoy, you know, even the hard things, I hate hiking. It is not one of my favorite things to do, but I’m from Utah and so when I go home I oh yeah, I do go hiking with my parents and I really learned to try to like it because I hate going up like the steep mountain passes and I’m like, oh, this feels miserable. But I really tried to enjoy, you know, the scenery around me and take everything in because I enjoy my time better when I do that and I just have a more pleasant experience. Like you said, things are more enjoyable. But I think there’s also this really great lesson. I’m not so much anymore so I’m not gonna pretend that I am, but I used to be a really big meditator and I think meditation is so good for people and it teaches you to live in the present cause say so many times the world goes very fast and we’re always thinking a million like you steps ahead. Right? I know my brain is crazy. It’s always just racing all over the place. So when I was meditating, you, you sit in quietness and stillness and I do guided meditation so there’s like a voice telling me to breathe in and you know, to visualize things. But you stay very, very close to the present and you learn not to veer from that. So you just kind of sit with your thoughts and you let them come and you let them go. And that really helps you in a lot of ways. It helps you control your emotions better, which we’ve talked about a lot in here. It helps you stay more clearheaded and it helps you again just really enjoy what’s going on now. So I think this is advice that not only is so good for everybody, but that I wish I would have had much, earlier in life. And I believe actually this is, I know, I’m pretty sure I’m right about this. This is one of the tips for teens in, Connor’s great book, which which I absolutely love. Is a book, you know, I read but I wish I had had it as a teen. So I think that’s such a good lesson.
Emma: Same here.
Brittany: Do you have anything to any more experiences to share? We’ve got a few more minutes.
Emma: Yeah, I definitely think you know what you’re talking about with like always jumping to the next thing. I, you know, if I were to give any advice to younger, you know, kids in high school or even younger than that, it would definitely be, you know, keep those goals and keep those benchmarks that you’re working towards. Cuz that’s a really positive thing. And those are always gonna be a part of your life. But don’t get so obsessed with them that you lose sight of where you are in the moment. And I definitely, when I was in high school, you know, was constantly thinking, what am I gonna do for college? You know, I need to be thinking about all of these adult things. And my parents were always telling me like, you need to slow down a little bit. It’s gonna be okay. Which is funny cause I know some people’s parents are the opposite. But I think I was just very, very obsessed with like growing up and being an adult and having it all figured out. And now that I’m an adult, I would love to go back and really enjoy, you know, that time that I had as a kid without having all of those responsibilities. And you know, there were a lot of ways where having that attitude did benefit me and, you know, there were some great things that came of that, you know, really working hard and thinking to the future. So I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna discourage that, but definitely make enough room in your life to still enjoy the things that are only going to be in your life for a certain amount of time. Like your high school friends and you know, the people that you grow up with and even living with your family. I know sometimes families can drive each other crazy and I’ve definitely experienced that, but I love my family and you know, sometimes I think back on the good times that I had when I was living with them and I’m like, those were really great days and when I was a kid I was so eager to be out on my own, doing my own thing. And there are parts of that are so much fun and I do like being an adult, but I kind of wish that I had not been. So, you know, always looking forward to the future and always kind of working and stressing about stuff because I think there’s so much good to learn about yourself and about life when you are, you know, still a kid. So my encouragement would be, you know, look forward to the future, have your plans and your goals, that’s awesome. But don’t totally lose sight of where you’re in the moment cause that’s, you know, there’s a lot of good stuff in that.
Brittany: I like that you brought that up. Cause that’s very true. Like there are moments of my life I wish I would’ve treasured more. My nieces and nephews are growing up so quickly and I wish I would’ve really enjoyed their childhood even more. And I did spend a lot of time with them, but there’s still times where I’m like, oh, I wish I would’ve been there more for this or for that because, you know, it, went by so quickly. So I think that’s a really good point. Yeah. And I think, I don’t know, unless you have anything to add, I think that’s all for me.
Emma: Yeah. We’ll wrap it up here today guys. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy your time of living in the moment and enjoying the journey and we will talk to you all again soon.
Brittany: Talk to you soon.