Scott’s Thoughts: A Manner of Traveling

Be a happy kid.“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”

Margaret Lee Runbeck (1905 – 1956); American author

One of the hazardous byproducts of being too goal-obsessed is the attitude that there’s no reward inherent in the journey itself. Just out of the client eye, you may find yourself complaining, “battling” for every dollar, cursing the day’s smallest frustrations as though they’re all simply obstacles to your objectives. This attitude sets us up for an inherently corrosive cycle of negativity in which happiness is always the next milestone away.(Problematically, if we cannot enjoy the journey, we’re highly unlikely to enjoy our goals when we achieve them, either.)

Yet nothing is so contagious as an enthusiasm for the day. When the journey from breakfast to bed time is a pleasure for not just you but those around you, everyone’s load is lighter. How we travel through the day is important not just for our own mental health, but those we interact with, too.

This is not to say your average week won’t include frustrations, setbacks, or moments of profound doubt. You should recognize those feelings as you encounter them. How you react to those feelings is vital, though. If you find you can balance them with joys, victories, or even a sense of clinical detachment, you’ll be able to minimize their impact. What’s more, your capacity to endure, deflect, or “invert” these challenges says a tremendous amount to those around you.

Often we’re faced with one of two views about our life and the relationship to the universe: The first says that the universe is indifferent to our struggles and that we’re “out there on our own.” The second view proposes that everything we’re faced with in our life comes from a universe with our best interest at heart, that there’s a benevolent force which wants us to succeed.

I don’t know about you, but of the two views, I find the second to be much more conducive to enjoying the journey. Challenges become lessons and victories become generous gifts. It makes all the difference in how I travel.

Photo credit: jbird

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