The Destination Is Only 20%, The Journey Is The Other 80%

The Destination Is Only 20%, The Journey Is The Other 80%

Are you living a full 100%?
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“Life is a journey, not a destination.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can’t name the number of times I’ve heard this quote and never thought it through until just yesterday. We’ll often hear: “It’s about the journey, enjoy the journey!”

If life feels like everything but an exciting journey, I mean how can this really be true right? Can’t you see the number of hours I’m scheduled to work this week? How sleep deprived I am? The paper I have due at midnight that I haven’t started because I’ve been so busy focusing on how STUCK I feel?

Well...Why don’t we take a break from the heavy panic? Let’s try and really think Emerson’s quote through. So, life is “supposedly” a journey. Hmmm….

A group of friends or family will gather and say: “Let’s take a road trip to California!” or “Let’s drive to New York this summer!” The excitement grows and grows as the idea unfolds. And on this road trip, you’ll usually see mountains, plains, and wildlife. You may even see the sun shining and setting in a way you never have before.

Well, what if I told you that all of these different things in nature represent the treasures in your life you’ve yet to notice?


“But Alexi, how?! WHERE are these treasures?”

The treasures lie in the little or big things you’ve yet to celebrate! Your dog licking your face before you leave the house. The heart-shaped macaroni card your younger cousin gave you last holiday saying “Eye laf you.” That promotion you got at the job you can’t stand, or even, the letting go of something old and welcoming of something new.

So today, just for today, I challenge you all to remove yourselves from worry and angst, and instead to ask yourselves: “How many treasures have I let pass me by, so focused on my destination, without having noticed them? How many trees have I not seen, how many mountains? How many opportunities, how many triumphs? How many hugs? How many moments of laughter?”

My friends, it is when we recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate the beautiful treasures along the way that we can truly absorb the greatness of not only our destination but of life itself. You see, the destination is honestly that, a simple point on the map: a location.

But our lives are more than just a dropped pin on the Maps app.

Our lives are roads on roads. Intricate roads with bumps and potholes, yes. But also roads surrounded by birds, trees, and valleys. Let us ask ourselves honestly: “When was the last time I stopped to take a look around?”

For today, I challenge you all to remove the blinders that are keeping you from using your peripherals. The blinders that have you SO focused on what’s ahead rather than what’s around. Just for today, forget about the goal you set for yourself: losing 15 pounds, hating your boss, making more money, or acing intergalactic organic chemistry.

For today, rather than driving towards your destination, I want you to stop all movement. And if you’re feeling REALLY risky, step out of the car you’re driving and take a walk through the empty highway. Today, I want you to spend your day in stillness and inner exploration. And after some time I want you to ask yourself: “Where does my magic lie? At home? In that book I haven’t picked up in two years, but have been thinking about rereading? In my favorite bottle of perfume? In that sweet text from my best friend this morning?”

Scan your surroundings, your mind, and your heart. Come into contact with your bliss. Look around. Inhale deeply. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you taste? And what do you love?

Feel that love and that excitement. That gentle smile and sense of comfort. These are the feelings of gratitude and appreciation. These are the feelings of love and of light. Breathe in the gentle atmosphere that surrounds you.

You see, the destination is only 20%. The other 80 lies in the treasures leading up to it.

Would you want to say that you drove your life at a fast pace? Working endless late nights just to try and get to that 20%? Or would you want to say that you stopped to smell the roses along the way? And got to live in your full 100%?

If you haven’t heard it already, let me to be the first to tell you: we are all meant to live our 100%. In each and every moment.

So for today, I challenge you to live in your 100%. Choose gratitude. Choose insight. Choose light. And choose love. Regardless of where you’ve been, or where you wish to be, move mindfully today, in stillness, in awareness and in peace. For the best things in life may not exactly be what’s in front of you, but instead, are what you’re letting… pass you by.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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65 Truths College Students Need to Hear Right Now

Truth every college student needs to hear.
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1. The best memories are ones you actually can remember.

2. God isn’t going to ask you if you were in a top-tier sorority or fraternity at the gates.

3. You failed a test, not your life.

4. Numbers don’t define you.

5. That includes the number you see that is your grade.

6. Also, how much you weigh.

7. As well as if you are a “7/10” on a so-called “hot scale.”

8. Or if you can bench press 200 lbs. (@ all the guys at the gym, please chill.)

SEE ALSO: 7 Reminders Every College Student Needs To Hear Before The Semester Ends

9. Innocence is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. Neither are mistakes.

11. But learn from your mistakes. Mistakes can be lessons, which can be the biggest blessing.

12. Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be and that is okay.

13. You may not always understand what God is doing, but I promise He has a plan.

14. Every person you meet is battling their own struggles.

15. Life isn’t always great moments.

16. But you have to walk through the forest to get to the mountain top.

17. Your heart isn’t damaged. It is temporarily broken but it will be fixed.

18. However, the only one who can fix a broken heart is the one who created it.

19. So a cute boy or hot girl can’t put the pieces back together.

20. Neither can ice cream.

21. But ice cream can totally help.

22. Stop texting your ex. He/She is your ex for a reason.

23. Loving Jesus means loving people.

24. Loving Jesus also means loving the image of Him in the mirror you see.

25. Stop hiding your emotions. Stop crying in the bathroom or behind a locked door. You have people in your life who care about you.

26. Suicide is never the answer.

27. Breathe in, breathe out.

28. Do you feel your heart pump? Do you feel the air exiting your body? That is a sign you are here for a purpose. Your life is no mistake.

29. Just because you doubt, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in Jesus.

30. However, when walking on the water scares you, look to Jesus and keep your eyes on Him.

31. If you have the opportunity to go to school go. There are young girls around the world who would do anything to sit at the desk you are complaining about.

32. Don’t pick a career based on money.

33. However, I promise you can use any passion or gift to serve a purpose bigger than yourself if you allow yourself to give it to the One who gave it to you.

34. You don’t need pretty prayers to please God.

35. Talk to Him like you are talking to a friend.

36. Look for the good in everyone.

37. That includes the mean girl who no one likes. Chances are she is mean for a reason. Someone was once mean to her. Kill her with kindness.

38. Pray to have the Lord’s eyes. See people with love.

39. Try to have the Lord’s hands, always be reaching out to others.

40. Each morning, pray to have the Lord’s feet and go where He calls you.

41. It is a bad day, not a bad life.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Be A College Student In April

42. You don’t need a six-pack to find a man who loves you.

43. You need a spouse who will be able to look at you when you are 80, and wrinkly and maybe a little chunky, and you need him to love you then. If he loves you for your body and your hair, I promise he doesn’t actually love you. Looks fade, but love is eternal. Find someone who loves you like Jesus.

44. Do some squats.

45. But squat so you feel good about yourself, not to attract the opposite sex.

46. You are never too old to find a new hobby.

47. You were beautiful before someone told you.

48. If you don’t know if you are in relationship or not, leave. You deserve clarity, not insecurity.

49. You deserve friendships that are mutual.

50. The best Friday nights are spent with a puppy and food. It is okay to not always be social.

51. Stop worrying about whether your crush will text you back.

52. Stop over analyzing everything in general.

53. Pray for your future spouse.

54. However, also pray for your future bridesmaids/groomsmen. Some of the most influential people you may have in your life you may not have even met yet.

55. Storms bring strength.

56. And storms bring rainbows if you are patient and observant.

57. Stop Pinteresting your dream life and start living it.

58. The Bible is actually extremely relatable. Open it up. Read it.

59. Romans 8:28 “and we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is on your team. He wants you to have moments of celebration. He has a purpose for you greater than your bad day.

60. Never forget what Jesus did for you on that cross. When he died for you, it was painful and brutal. It was ugly. It was love. Don’t let that truth ever become numb to you no matter how many times you have heard the story.

61. There is nothing wrong with carbs.

62. Study. And don’t wait for the night before.

63. Find someone who you can look up to.

64. Also, never forget that there is always someone looking up to you. Act like someone you would want your future children to be. Act in a way that reflects wisdom.

65. Smile more, you are loved by the one who hung the stars and painted the sea. He created puppies and carbs–yet still loves you more. That is something to celebrate.

College is tough and life is hard. You are going to have moments where all you want to do is celebrate life with your best friends, but you will also have moments where you just want to lock the door, ignore everyone, and have a good cry. Never forget that your worth comes from something greater than your Biology grade, and from Someone greater that the one who broke your heart.

You aren’t too cool for Christ in college. Christ is a necessity for you in your life. He can hold your hand during your heartbreaks and failures and celebrate with you when you get the text back or a passing grade in foreign language. He loves for you and cares for you more than your sorority or fraternity ever will.

So buy your books, do your homework, but never forget when you are walking to you 8:00 a.m. you regretfully signed up for, to look up. Look at the clouds and the sky and thank your creator that in a big big world with many beautiful things, He still loves our messy hearts even more. So this one is for the boys for the King. This life is for the One who laid down His life.

I promise college is more fun when you dance with your Savior. Follow His lead and let him take you on a journey where you can find your purpose. You may not know where you are going, but you do know who you are following.

So never forget that although classes may be hard, and your metabolism may be slowing down–God is still good. He turns our ashes into beauty and our trials into our testimony. Do life with your creator and I promise you that you will have more than you need.

Romans 8:28 “And we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Check out my website for more articles on self-worth <3

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Understanding And Embracing The Prostitute Within

Are you someone who is unapologetically her best, authentic self, and who has the strength to both follow her own heart and to support others around her doing the same?

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Ever responded to a stressful situation and wondered afterward why you reacted in the way you did? Maybe it's because of nurture: your age, faith, education background, or culture. Or maybe, it's because of an archetype deep within you—a universal way of being that stretches across all divides and affects every human.


BLINDSPOTS

Understanding what archetypes are and which ones are actively affecting you can open your eyes to what's unconsciously driving you. By knowing what you didn't know you didn't know, you can then become conscious about your choices and actions and—if you wish—choose a new way to be. So here's how to understand your inner Prostitute—and how to make her* work for you.

*I am female so I choose a feminine pronoun for the Prostitute. Replace with whatever you wish.


ARCHETYPES

According to Carl Jung, an archetype (a universal mental pattern) is a part of all humans' collective unconsciousness. The child archetype was first suggested by Carl Jung as a role (along with the other archetypes) that we all unconsciously play out in our lives. Caroline Myss, a New York Times bestselling author, has elaborated on Jung's theory, suggesting that the child is one of four survival archetypes that develop early on in all humans' lives: the child, the prostitute, the victim, and the saboteur. Each one of these is present to some extent in you and your decision-making.


OVERVIEW OF ARCHETYPES

Some of these words have fairly negative connotations, right? If someone called you a prostitute or a saboteur, you might take offense. Despite the connotative meanings of the word associated with each archetype, each archetype is neutral: they have both positive and negative sides. To best understand the Prostitute archetype, it will be helpful to have a brief understanding of the struggles associated with the other survival archetypes.

The Child includes the wounded child, orphan child, and eternal child, and causes you to stay stuck in childhood traumas, responding to events today based on defense mechanisms you created as a child. You may feel abandoned, engage in self-pity, or become very cynical.

The Victim tells you that you're never good enough or that it's never your fault—it blames you, controls you, and causes you to wait to be rescued.

The Saboteur tries to self-sabotage you and encourages you to undermine your own choices.


THE SHADOW SIDE OF THE PROSTITUTE

The Prostitute came into being as a way to help you survive and protect your inner self, strength, and integrity. This is her being: it's neutral. But like all archetypes, the Prostitute has a light side and a shadow side, and her shadow side is often destructive, selfish, and fearful.

Have you ever asked yourself how you can make that cute boy think you're more interesting or engaging than you actually are? Whether you should bother helping your classmate with the upcoming exam if there's nothing in it for you? How you can get your boss to respect you?

That was your inner Prostitute. She negotiates your power away to other people and compromises as a form of self-protection.

The Prostitute's shadow side engages in selling out yourself—your integrity, creativity, standards—either because of fear, or because of gain (particularly financial). It's not just about you compromising yourself though—the Prostitute will also encourage you to seduce or control others.

Have you ever seen a friend stay in an abusive or neglectful relationship? Have you compromised your ideals at work in order to just keep your job? Have you put on a false front in order to impress your date? That's all the Prostitute at work. Negotiating away yourself in this way hurts your core and victimizes you.


COME BACK TO THE LIGHT

The flip side of the shadow self is seeing how the Prostitute can radically transform your life if you embrace this archetype and use it consciously and wisely.

In this way, the Prostitute creates and strengthens self-confidence and integrity. Have you ever met a man or woman who had the strength to leave behind toxic relationships? Who was able to freely express her wants and principles in a self-empowered way and know her own boundaries—but who also does not try to persuade other people to compromise their own selves? Who refused to manipulate others to gain their favor, admiration, or support, no matter how it might have helped him get what he wanted?

That's the Prostitute as she's meant to be manifested in a person: someone who knows how to protect and best use her energy and resources, who is unapologetically her best, authentic self, and who has the strength to both follow her own heart and to support others around her doing the same.


NOW WHAT?

How do we move away from the Prostitute's shadow side and live in her light side?


BECOMING AWARE

The first step to any sort of growth is awareness. If you're not aware of a problem, you won't know how to fix it—you won't even know there's a thing to be fixed. Begin noting when in your life you are trying to mitigate other people's impressions of you, or when you're trying to control someone else's actions or decisions. What are your standards? What standards are you willing to compromise on (with your time, your morals, or your body) in order to protect yourself or to get your own way? What are you willing to give up (in relationships, personal standards, job security) in order to be safe or not make waves? Note when you're breaking your integrity to achieve some end, the people in your life who use you and drain you, and when you're ignoring your gut.


WHAT'S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

The next time you're on a date or with friends and start self-censoring to make yourself seem more appealing, reset. Take a deep breath, and just be yourself.

A coping mechanism that I find helpful is asking: what's the worst that can happen? Last week I was out on a date with this crazy cool person I really like and I started to talk about a subject I get really excited about and then hesitated, unsure if we were "there" yet in our relationship. Maybe this is too much, too soon?

Cue coping mechanism above: "What's the worst that can happen?" The worst that can happen, I thought, is that this person decides he doesn't like me and doesn't want to see me again. The Prostitute's response to that: well, if you being you makes him not want to see you again, then it's a good thing you figured that out sooner rather than later. And if he does want to see you again—then he wants to see someone who's genuinely, authentically you.


CHECK IN WITH YOUR GUT

The Prostitute is a gut-based archetype rather than a mind-based archetype. Writing ways to encourage someone to follow their intuition is a little like writing ways for someone to learn how to dance: you can give them tips about timing and write out the basic steps, but at some point, they just have to get in the ring and experience it.

So when you're making decisions, check in with your gut. If it's not hellyeah, then maybe it's a no. If I find myself making a pros and cons list about whether or not I want to hang out with someone or kiss someone, I know it's not a hellyeah for me. And that doesn't always mean it's bad, or that I shouldn't give it a shot—but it does mean to stay attuned to your body and heart, and don't override them or scorn them for being silly or irrational.


YOU CAN'T HEAL WITH THE SAME PEOPLE WHO HURT YOU

Toxic relationships with someone you love are probably the hardest to walk away from. Understand it doesn't need to be a judgment upon them; maybe they're not a bad person. Maybe it is just you. And that's okay. It's okay to make decisions that are just for you. This is your life. Ask yourself: if your best friend was in an identical situation, what advice would you give him?

You cannot heal in the same place, by the same people, who hurt you. If you're spending your finite and precious energy on people and tasks that just drain you, you're not using your energy as you best could: to fully empower your own self so you can go out and change your own corner of the world.


COURAGE

Your inner Prostitute can seduce you to lead a life out of fear—selling out to protect yourself, selfishly get what you want, and manipulate others. Or your inner Prostitute can be an empowering force in your life—filling you with courage and determination, respect and appreciation for both your own boundaries and the boundaries of others, and protecting you from being manipulated or controlled.

Standing up for yourself to others, and standing up to yourself when you are trying to manipulate someone else, will surely be difficult at times. By embracing the Prostitute archetype that resides in each of us, you will be able to become aware of her encouragements within you and implement her empowerment, strength, and willpower in your life.


GO FORTH

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