We spend so much of our lives looking ahead, trying to get to the next destination that we believe will make us happy. It seems as if we’re always on our way to somewhere else, and while it’s great to have goals and dreams to keep us motivated and engaged with life, too much of an outer focus can result in missing the joy of the inner journey.
The inner journey is all about the person we become as we move through the outer journey of our lives. As we strive to improve ourselves and our circumstances, as we set goals and achieve them, or fail to achieve them. And we become a completely different person than we were when we took that first step. Without the inner growth and development, we experience along the way, the outer goals would be completely meaningless.
Take a moment right now to consider your own outer journey through life so far. Think about the many experiences you have had in your life, the struggles and triumphs, and everything you have learned along the way. Think about the person you were five years ago, ten years ago, and the person you are today. You’re not even the same person you were back then, are you?
Your name might be the same, your appearance may not have changed that much, and perhaps you still have your dominant personality traits, but you have become so much more than you were when you started this grand adventure. You’re probably a lot wiser, more mature, maybe more focused, with greater clarity about who you really are and what you want in life.
Now imagine who you will be five years from now, or even a few decades from now. How might you stretch and grow beyond the person you are today? How might you make your inner journey a bigger part of your focus as you continue moving forward?
One good way to start is by simply acknowledging that the whole point of the outer journey is to enrich and deepen your inner journey. Rather than getting too hung up on “getting somewhere” outwardly, focus more on the lessons and insights that you gain from each experience. It’s certainly okay to have goals and dreams that you’re striving to fulfill, but also enjoy yourself along the way to them.
Celebrate the growth that you attain through each experience you have. Pause the outer journey periodically and appreciate where you are in the moment. Feel good about how far you’ve come and all that the journey has gifted to you along the way.
This is especially important when you experience disappointment or struggle, and your outer journey is not going along as you’d hoped it would. It’s easy to think that your progress has been stalled or you’ve somehow gotten derailed onto the wrong path, but what if the stall is actually a crucial part of the inner journey? What if the delay is contributing to your growth much more than an easy journey would have?
If you can keep this possibility in mind and simply embrace where you are in the moment, your inner journey becomes even more meaningful, and the outer progress will resume with greater ease and flow.