Learn to love the journey

mental health Aug 23, 2023
Learn to love the journey

When setting out to achieve a goal, it can be visualized as a journey. You have a starting point and an endpoint. You have ups and downs, and it takes time. However, in our modern world, people want to just jump to the end and get all the benefits without the journey. Many people never learn to love the journey.

This is the biggest disservice done to modern people, men especially. Without the journey, there can be no story to tell.

The whole saying practice makes perfect became a saying for a reason. Without the proper learning lessons, nothing will stick.

When you learn to love the journey, the journey becomes enjoyable and you begin to look forward to the opportunities. Here are two mindset shifts to help you with this.

1. The journey of a thousand steps is actually an estimate

Think back to a time when you did something and you estimated how long it would take. Chances are, it either took the exact time, it took shorter, or it took longer. No matter the outcome, we can't really predict the outcome or how long it will take. 

Too many people, men especially, want results quickly because they believe it will give them the better life they want. Whether this is true or not can be determined once they actually reach their goal.

However, regardless of the time frame, you still cannot predict how long it will take for you to reach your goal. We can use this to our advantage.

When you are too fixated on the time frame set for your goal, it can be suffocating. As time ticks down, you have less and less room to fall short.

Excess stress is the number one killer of enjoyment. While it helps to set personal due dates, you don't have to be so strict on yourself with them.

The number one mistake people make when setting personal deadlines is beating themselves up for not fulfilling them. Being too hard on yourself, no matter the reason will only make it harder for you to stay on course.

Understand that you don't need to be perfect. Any progress is better than nothing. And while I'm not advocating for you to become lazy and underperform, it's ok to take an off-day or off-week every so often.

As long as you are moving forward, having a small setback stays as nothing more than a small setback.

2. There are no shortcuts, stop looking for one

Way too many people are looking for the easy way out. As already mentioned, they want results without the work. As understandable as this is, without the work there are no lessons to be learned. By rushing to the end, you deprive yourself of the invaluable experience that would've gotten you to the end in the first place.

Far too many men want a surefire way to reach their goals. They want to get there with little to no trouble, and they want to get there quickly.

However, there's a reason why girls tend to like guys who are older. Older men tend to have more experience and more going for them.

This ties back to not looking for shortcuts: the experience you gain from the journey is what makes it worthwhile in the first place. 

Taking the rougher road has two benefits to it.

First, there will be more setbacks. Yes, this is a good thing. The more struggle you persevere through in pursuit of your goals, the better.

With each struggle, there is the possibility for you to achieve victory, or to be setback. When starting out, it's very likely you will encounter setbacks.

Rather than looking at setbacks as a bad thing, you must learn to see them as learning opportunities. With each one you overcome, you learn and improve.

Second, the rough road builds character. The struggles you go through on the rough road will forge you into an actual man.

The rough road teaches one very valuable lesson: you cannot wait for life to happen. You learn very quickly that in order for you to reach your goal, you must forge the path yourself.

This is the character necessary for achieving success, and it is transferable to other pursuits in your life as well.

By taking the rough road, you are taking the path to success, even if it takes longer to make any headway in the beginning.

Fear the man who thinks in terms of centuries instead of months

It's far better for men to think of their goals in how it affects them long-term. It's good to think in terms of weeks, better to think in terms of months, amazing to think in terms of years, and ideal to think in terms of centuries.

However, not every man will be the same. Some get more motivated thinking in terms of months, some in terms of weeks. Still set goals for different timeframes (one year, five years, 10 years), but stick to the style that makes it easy for you to stay vigilant over your progress.

The journey of a thousand steps begins with your goals. Be sure to set goals that are serving you well and that also get you to your desired end state.

- Karl