Destination vs Journey – a power tool*

 1.       Life as a journey

Life is a journey in every sense and on every level…  we go from childhood to old age… from ignorance to enlightment… from not knowing to suspecting… from suspecting to knowing. If life is a journey then we are some kind of travelers. We travel through space and time.  We travel with our physical bodies or sometimes without them within our imagination and within our emotions.

 2.       The traveler and the tourist analogy

“What is the difference between a traveler and a tourist?”

“The tourist goes to some place for a week, a month or even a year but in their heart they know that they will return.  The traveler goes to some place and they don’t really know if they ever come back.”

I always remember this dialogue from a film I had watched in my twenties called “Sheltering Sky”. Sometimes I even ask myself “Am I a traveler or a tourist?”

Let’s explore a little bit the concept of traveler. The traveler has realized that it is the journey that matters. The traveler really focuses on the journey. He/ She is not afraid of the unknown and is always excited about what is coming next. He /She is curious to explore new places both in and outside their hearts, both in and outside other people.

It is the heart and the state of mind of a traveler with all their curiosity that makes life so exciting. We all have experienced traveling and we all have experienced this feeling of excitement. Why then not bring it into our daily lives? We don’t have to get a plane or a boat ticket to feel like travelers. There are a lot of unknown places to explore within us and others. Just pause for a moment and try some mindfulness. Even a walk that you have taken a thousand times before, becomes different and exciting. And yes, the state of mind of a traveler is linked to a mindfulness state of mind.  And this is something we all have experienced in our travelling as well.  Can you remember yourself taking deep breaths while enjoying a beautiful countryside in some faraway land, wanting the moment to last forever? And can you imagine having this mindfulness state of mind of the traveler always in your daily life?

3.       Journey vs Destination

Journey vs Destination really means focusing on the journey instead of focusing on the destination. It means not being attached to the final destination. It does not mean not having a destination at all. The destination must be there to inspire you to set out on the journey.  The destination is your vision and your end goal. In between, there are smaller destinations and a lot of travelling.  Reaching your destination is just a moment in time but travelling towards your destination is every moment in time.

Journey vs Destination means being present in the moment and enjoy the process towards reaching a goal. It also means being fully aware of the change process and things that need to be addressed along the way.  Very often we need to be flexible and adjust the initial goals if the process takes us somewhere differently. As we embark in a process of change and on a journey towards reaching a goal, the initial understandings about the goal and our expectations might change. So, destination vs journey also means that we continuously examine where we are and where we want to be.

* The Power Tools™ which have been developed by the International Coach Academy (ICA) are a way to support participants in the discovery of perspective, and the role it plays in achieving results. Journey vs Destination is a power tool developed by Panagiotis Ntouskas following the ICA approach.


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