We are here to create, to love, to learn, to grow, to share our gifts, and, very importantly, to experience joy. It’s not about getting to point B but “the journey,” as they say—and it sounds like a lie. But it is truer than we realize. What is point B anyway but number two in a long line of even more things?Yrsa Daley-Ward The How
I’m a consistent re-reader of books that move me. I purposefully don’t have a lot of books in our home because I only keep those I know I’ll re-read multiple times. I have a system: I check out a book from the library, and if I read it more than once while it’s in my possession then I order a copy for myself. Shout out to checking for the book at your local independent bookstores first. Reminder, Jeff Bezos and his team don’t need any more of your dollars.
I’m re-reading The How by Yrsa Daley-Ward for the first time since owning my own copy. I loved this book when I first read it in February, and I’m loving it all over again now. A number of readers of this blog got the book and found it a tad tedious, but I don’t. It’s mesmerizing and encompasses so much of what I’m feeling these days. In fact, in my re-reading, I keep wondering if I’m having the thoughts I’m having lately because of having read the book earlier this year, or are Ms Daley-Ward and I having similar thoughts because we are similar people in some not so obvious ways? Have you lost your sense of what the word having means yet? For goodness’ sake!
The destination is no fixed point, and it is never all it is promised to be. No sooner do we land than we look for the very next place on which to set our sights. That in itself is no bad thing. It is incredible (and natural) that our desires are always regenerating, that our desires should shift. But we should be wary of assigning a feeling of ultimate satisfaction to the experience of completion, or we will be disappointed. In order to feel vital and have any real enjoyment, we must find the beauty in the dreaming and planning and less so in the outcome. If joy is to exist at all, it can only ever be now.
Various readers of my content have queried as to where all the words live in my brain? A friend asked me how much more could I possibly have to say? In my day job, a donor questioned, “How much is enough? If I give you more, you’ll just want even more.”
Where do all the words live? What more could I possibly have to say? How much is enough?
I have no idea.
And I don’t care to ever find out the answer to questions like that because I believe in and embrace the journey. I’m a dreamer in the truest sense of the word. I think most humans are. We dream of love, fame, fortune, babies, jobs, health and fitness, grandeur, vacations and more.
But where most humans stop at the dreaming, maybe going so far as to say out loud what they want, I kick into high gear. “[W]e must find the beauty in the dreaming and planning…”
And the planning.
We all want something. For years, I wanted to start a blog and give professional talks.
Then I gave my first personal professional talk in June of 2019. I came home and bought a website template so I could keep writing.
In other words, for years, I wanted what I now have done many times.
Until two years ago, I never dreamed of developing a retreat and courses that would inspire other people to enact meaningful change in their own lives.
September 5th will be the two-year anniversary of my revelation on that dirt road. I moved from that vision to creating and holding my first retreat in just 68 days.
I treat my dreams like a job because they are. I have a schedule, I show up, I do the work. I struggle and succeed, fail and win over and over again, but with each step, I’m moving further down the path.
I’ve grown, learned, stumbled, made important discoveries and connections and evolved, both personally and professionally, because I’m invested in the journey of getting to the next “there.” And while not every second of it has been full of joy, I have loved the process, the learning and the movement that comes from harmonizing dreaming with doing.
If you do not feel joy in the getting it, there’ll be no more joy in the having it.
Three things to take away from all of this:
- Do the work. It’s not enough to simply dream it. Show up and put in the time. Struggle. Set things down and pick other things up. But regardless the outcome, show up and do the work.
- Enjoy the journey. There’s no guarantee, even if you show up and do the work, that it will take you anywhere much less wherever it is you’re dreaming about, so you better like the process of inquiry, learning, failing and succeeding. Be curious and open to more. Be quiet but also get loud. Get comfortable with failing often because you’re trying new things and that’s hard to do. Take a look around and see where you are from time to time and express gratitude for each step on the path.
- Be grateful. You’ve been given an opportunity, and you’ve taken it and made space for it in your life! Even when it doesn’t go according to plan, maybe especially when it doesn’t, have gratitude for the experience of putting your dreams into action. You’re braver than most, and that will never be a waste of time, energy, money or dreams.
Are you thinking, “I have no dreams! I don’t know what I want next.”? Sign up for the virtual FREE 5-Day (re)Discover Your Spark retreat Sept 19-23 at 11am CST every day and (re)ignite the spark inside of you.