Learning from the journey – Not the destination

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I made a mistake, in fact I made the same mistake a thousand times, but I’m willing to believe that you (especially if you’re a bloke) have made the same mistake too. You talk to someone who has a problem and you know the solution; so you blurt it out to them and then wonder why they don’t take your awesome advice. Or perhaps you see someone on a journey making a mistake that you made yourself in their position and you jump in to save them, thinking you’re doing them a favour only to see them back heading towards the same mistake further down the line.

I’ve done this more times than I care to think about. In fact if you watch my video It’s Not Just About Losing Weight you’ll see that part of my mission was to help people achieve the things I have done without making the same mistakes I made. A noble enough cause right? Well not entirely. See the mistakes I made were all part of me learning how to achieve my goals. They are what taught me to be self dependent, what ultimately make me a good coach.

A few years back my wife and I drove a car up to Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. It was a wonderful place and had quite frankly one of the best views I have ever seen. A few weeks later when we were back in the UK we decided to have a little hike up Snowdon. Now the view from the top of Snowdon is still fantastic, but if I were to compare the views side by side I would have to give the point to Yosemite. However Snowden to me had the bigger impact, not because of the destination, but the journey. We had walked for 3 hours to get there and we had another 2 and a half ahead of us. We worked for this, we experienced the climb, not just the view.

The problem is we are now conditioned to wanting everything right now. Our behaviours are increasingly slanting this way, we stream tv shows on our time, binge watch, multitask; we choose fast food, quick-fix, easy assemble. Be honest, have you ever asked “what’s the quickest way to…” lose weight, grow my business, learn a language? We want it fast and we want it now. Admit it, we’re all looking forward to the day when learning via information being directly transmitted to our brains – as in The Matrix – is a reality.

I get it, we want efficiency, because we want to do so much nowadays and we have so little time. And although there are definitely better ways to do things, no master ever got there via the fast route. They got there by making mistakes, but doing so with attention. What did that mistake mean? How did it affect my outcome? What could I change that would make my outcome different?

When we ask questions like these we learn to think critically. To evaluate our journey and to increase our understanding. Like the difference between when you travel somewhere without a sat nav and you can remember the route next time, versus when you rely on the car to get you there and can’t replicate the journey.

So rather than asking “what’s the quickest way to…” instead ask “what can I change today that will take me closer to my goal?” Learn to understand where in the journey you are and what is keeping you there. And if you’re really struggling then hire a guide, but one that will walk there with you, not just show you the view!

Your Progress Is Our Passion.

 

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