Monday 17th December 18:12

"The Magical Mystery Tour"

MTL Newsletter

Hi everyone,

The other night, my wife and I took a coach trip that was labelled a "Magical Mystery Tour".

Unlike most trips we go on, where we know the destination, this one had no end point. It was just a journey for the journey's sake. And we loved every minute of it.

We went along coastal routes lit by beautiful evening sunshine, along country lanes still glistening from the day's showers, and along busy dual carriageways at top speed.

It got me thinking that one of life's real secrets is not about getting some place quick but about enjoying the journey on the way.

Most of us have it the other way around.

We set ourselves goals, such as having lots of money, fine homes, big cars, luxurious holidays, the latest gadgets, and often stress ourselves out trying to get them and keep them. The process of working towards these goals is often classed as a "struggle" where success is measured by how well we perform and how well we compete. We believe that the more we want, the more we have to struggle. And then if and when we reach our goal, we have a momentary feeling of triumph, after which it's all taken for granted and we move on to the next goal and the next struggle.

There is an easier way to get what we want and that is to set the goal and then forget about it by just relishing every single moment of the journey.

One of my favourite authors is Benjamin Hoff. In his book, "The Tao of Pooh", Hoff uses the adventures of Winnie the Pooh to give some important life lessons. In one passage, Pooh contemplates what his favourite thing is. He is about to answer, "honey, of course", when he realises that the anticipation of the honey may be more important.

"The honey doesn't taste so good once it is being eaten; the goal doesn't mean so much once it is reached; the reward isn't so rewarding once it's been given. That doesn't mean the goals we have don't count. They do, mostly because they cause us to go through the process, and it's the process that makes us wise, happy, or whatever. If we do things in the wrong sort of way, it makes us miserable, angry, confused, and things like that. The goal has to be right for us and it has to be beneficial, in order to ensure a beneficial process. But, aside from that, it's really the process that's important. Enjoyment of the process is the secret that erases the myths of the Great Reward."

The really amazing thing, of course, is that when you relish the journey, you don't need a destination to make you feel good. You're already feeling good. So, in one of those odd paradoxes of life, the journey really is the destination.

Here's looking forward to the next Magical Mystery Tour!

Eric

ManageTrainLearn 2012