“The summit is for the ego. The journey is for the soul.”
It’s always a great idea to have a goal in mind, a summit that you’re striving for, so you know in which direction you need to be headed. Thing is, it’s not such a great idea to put all your focus on the end result of that goal to the exclusion of what’s going on around you on the way to achieving it.
A lot of people do that. I’m guilty of it, too. But here’s the thing: you have no control over the outcome, which means you don’t know how it will all turn out in the end. And all the time you spend not enjoying and/or appreciating your life on the way to that summit is all the time you can never get back.
You need to choose now, whether you’ve already started on your way to your goal or it’s just a plan in your mind, what matters more: your ego or your happiness.
The journey to the summit:
1. Gives yourself permission to nourish your soul
Once you slow down, you’ll be able to listen to your own self and your own life. You’ll be able to decide what you actually want, what actually matters to you, which may or may not be the goal that you’re aiming for. Once your ego gets out of the way, you’re able to be taught and to learn because you:
- don’t think you know everything
- are willing to be open to new things
- give yourself permission to make mistakes
- allow yourself to be a beginner.
And learning who you really are deep down in your core (not who you may pretend to be) and what it is you truly want (instead of what others may want for you that you project onto yourself) are the biggest gifts you could ever give yourself.
2. Helps you find what makes you come alive
Learning about yourself and what makes you feel the most alive is your life’s work, I assure you it is. Once you start enjoying the journey, you will have the time and the motivation to discover what:
- you’re actually drawn to
- lights a spark in you
- makes you happy and fulfilled when you do it
- you want to be doing with your time.
You really are exchanging your life for what you do with your time. So you need to ask yourself: is the goal you’re aiming for what you actually want to be exchanging your life for or would you rather be aiming for something else? It’s your life, you always (always, always) get to choose how you want to live it.
3. Gives your life meaning
Having been through clinical depression, I can tell you for sure that slowing down and enjoying the journey is what’s going to give your life meaning. Even if you’re doing something you love and aiming for a goal that matters deeply to you, it still holds true that clambering for the summit to the exclusion of everything else will lead to burnout. And if you’re burned out for too long—not nourishing your soul, not finding what makes you come alive and doing it—you can easily slide into a depression. Meaning is what will lead you to:
- and the list of good things goes on.
The caveat to finding meaning is that you have to let go of your ego and instead choose to feed your soul.
So will you start enjoying the journey today?