Embrace the Journey … Stop and Smell the Roses

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Embrace the Journey … Stop and Smell the Roses

Personal development is a constant journey on the road of life. Happiness is a result of making this journey an adventure full of fun times.

The path we walk on this road of life is uncertain.  It is full of mystery and takes us on a journey, a long and winding road, with many experiences waiting for us.

We take this road on a quest to reach our destination.  But our happiness depends on us not rushing through our lives, as if we were in a hurry to get somewhere.

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”  Don Williams, Jr.

So many of us hold on to a vision in our minds where we see ourselves on a long journey that spans many years, but the primary thought in our mind is the final destination where on arrival we hear bells ringing, see flags waving and bands playing, feeling elation in ourselves, signalling that our wonderful dream has come true. Until that moment we are restlessly, pacing around, looking ahead, moving, working, waiting to arrive at that destination.

How crazy is it for us to waste our life away just to get to a destination in the future?

I am the first to confess that goals are important in life, but I also know that if we don’t take time to look around and enjoy the journey, our goals will be at the cost of throwing away far too much time on trying to achieve them, at the cost of our day to day happiness.

Of course I look forward to the future, to where I want to reach. But I don’t allow my focus to be solely on the destination. No matter how important my goals are to me, no matter how hard I strive to reach them, I will never allow this to be at the cost of my journey, because what a waste it would be if one day I look back along my path and wonder where had the actual journey gone.

It is essential to “find joy in the journey of life.” This is the key to happiness. The journey and this present moment is all we really have. So you have to allow yourself to stop, stop rushing, take your time and smell the roses. Give yourself the opportunity to see the beauty right in front of your eyes in every small moment of each and every day.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”  Greg Anderson

Live your life being fully aware in the moment, each moment. Don’t let the years pass you by so that you wake up one morning once you’ve made it, reached your desired destination, but you’ve come to realise how much you’ve missed out on along the way.

Life is about the journey, not about the destination. Spend time trying to reach your goals but notice and enjoy everything on the way. It’s not just the goal, or the place we are striving to arrive at, that is the only thing that matters or that is worth enjoying.

“Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life.” Burton Hills

Most of us are in far too great a rush to get somewhere to enjoy the journey, we call life. We are completely focused on the future, believing that it is the achievement of the goal that we chase that will provide us with happiness, so we miss all the wonderful opportunities presented to us along the way.

You must stop to smell the roses, do the things you enjoy, to spend enough time with the people you love, your children, your family, your friends, live fully and enjoy life now, enjoy the journey. Once you get to the destination enjoy arriving their.

“The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination.” Socrates

If you go through life, ignoring everything with a steely determination and focus on your ultimate goal, even when you fulfil your dream, when you make it happen, life will seem so empty, all those years you have allowed to fade into one another, not allowing yourself to enjoy anything.

If you believe that the accomplishment of your goals will make you happy, you may have the situation where you reach your goals only to find that you are no happier than you were before. So don’t forgo your joy in order to achieve your goal. Identifying the right goal for you will ensure that both your journey and the end result will add to your current level of happiness, as well as bring you success.

Each new day is something to look forward to with eager anticipation, another wonderful opportunity to smell the roses.  Know that the secret to life is simply enjoying every step of the journey.

When we stay focused on the “destination”, we miss the “journey”. We miss all those tiny moments that make life worth living. You must take time to enjoy all the little things. Don’t wait till you arrive at your destination to enjoy life, take the time to enjoy every minute of the journey you undertake to reach your goal. It is the journey that matters, in the end

“The journey is the reward”. Chinese Proverb

Don’t spend all your time and energy working towards the time where you can  at last cut free and have a great time. Life happens, every second of every day. Your life is happening right now so pay attention to each moment which will also give you a better chance of enjoying the future you want.

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
14 Comments
  1. Alpana Jaiswal August 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Each new day is something to look forward to with eager anticipation, another wonderful opportunity to smell the roses. Know that the secret to life is simply enjoying every step of the journey….Loved it Larry..and every thing u say is to be noted….Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have had. No one waits forever.

    • LarryLewis August 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      Alpana i want you to alwys remember, every morning provides you with a fresh clean canvas. You choose what you will create on it. You have everything in front of you, just bring the faith in yourself to the forefront and you will produce a masterpiece, of that i’m sure

  2. rimly August 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    It is so important to smell the roses on our way to our destination. We tend to forget the journey and are only anxious about reaching our destination. In the process we miss out on so much. Thank you Larry for reminding us again that it is the journey that is important and not the destination and that we have to sometime take the plunge.

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.com/2011/01/words.html

    • LarryLewis August 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      Rimly, i find it difficult to comprehend that such a wonderful writer like you wouldn’t always remember to stop and smell the roses. so writing is so passionate, and so descriptive, you would seem the type who would notice everything, in every moment. If you aren’t alwaays using those skills around your life, just know you have them ready to be utilised.

  3. Bec Owen August 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I totally agree with you Larry! I think we have a nice balance when we are feeling content where we are, and eager for more. As you say, it is so important to look for and appreciate the hundreds of moments of happiness and joy that are part of every single day. And it’s also true that we are continually growing and expanding, so we are always reaching for what is just beyond the present moment…I believe this is part of why we came here. The trick is to be okay with and understand that whole process.

    Wonderful words of advice, as ever!

    • LarryLewis August 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm

      Becky, absolutely right. Long ago i blogged about how it was possible to be contented, yet still chase your dreams. Some believe that contentment and goal seeking are complete opposites, i believe that can complement each other.

  4. Nelieta August 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Interesting Larry! We always have to reach a destination but when do we ever stop in between and just smell the roses? Seems like we always chase that train!

    • LarryLewis August 25, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      Nelieta, absolutely right. What we will find is by being on the go all the time, focused on the destination, we miss so many wonderful things happening all around us

  5. Martha Orlando August 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I touched on this very concept in a recent Daily Devotion, Larry. It is so wonderful to have goals and dreams, but it is most important to savor every moment of life along the way. Thank you for this inspiration!

    • LarryLewis August 25, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      Martha … savour every moment on the way … there we build our inspiration step by step

  6. Abhisek August 24, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    The journey is the reward….very well said.We all want to reach somewhere, but one shouldn’t totally ignore the now for future.Thanks for reminding Larry. 🙂

    • LarryLewis August 25, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      Abhisek … i am as goal orientated as anybody, but my journey gives me so much fulfilment in itself because i live in the moment, in the now.

  7. Adriene August 30, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Good advice, Larry. I’ve known and heard of too many people who died within months of retirement from work. Enjoy life now because tomorrow is not promised.

    • LarryLewis September 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      Adriene – i knbow of the very saame happening. People who worked hard all their lives, up till 65 to 70, who within a year of retirement past away. Our mind, body and soul need to be kept busy, just because we retitre from our job doesn’t mean we have to retire from life. I was reading only the other day about 3 90 year old ladies that blogged daily. Awesome.

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