Allowing space for the journey. Over the years, I have learned that there are times when it is not as important where you end up, but it is how you got there.  A friend once shared that the journey is as important as the destination.

The place we live, our society, culture, or community, often demands, immediate results. But has this created an environment of lost patience for the journey in the quest for results?

I could list a bunch of reasons why I believe society demands instant results, but that would be a redundant message I need not repeat. It is easy to see increased expectations upon our lives and the time to get it done feels like it is decreasing. My observation is that the journey is being sacrificed for productivity and results resulting in lost opportunities for growth, exploration, and discovery.

Journey is the space we experience the ups and downs of life. Our path takes us in directions that are rarely straight lines, but filled with thrills, dips, hills, turns, bumps, and pot-holes. It is the space we experience life and engage other people along the way. We learn to think, function, and feel as we interact with new challenges and ask questions regarding purpose, destiny, and meaning. This may sound philosophical to you, but it feels human to me. The journey allows us to explore, imagine, create, fail, forgive, love, support, build, or any number of other things. Ultimately, it is a place of freedom to take risks, fail, start again, and succeed. It also helps us appreciate the destination. A person who has not journeyed well can never appreciate the richness of their accomplishment.

Do you allow space for your journey? Do you encourage other people to join you? Answer these two questions.

  1. Do you give people the opportunity to try?
  2. Do you give people the opportunity to fail?

We let people try because we believe in them. We help pick things up when they fail because we care. If we do not believe and care about other people, we are robbing ourselves of a healthy and productive environment. A nicer way of saying this is that without affirmative answers, we have robbed ourselves of the community that will best help us reach our own destination. As a result, life becomes characterized by fear.

The journey is destroyed, and subsequently your community, when people carry fear. Consider fear as:

  1. The fear of failure because they do not want to receive consequences associated with failure. Do people in your community face consequences for failures?
  2. The fear of taking risks because risk taking is criticized as being anti-establishment or contrary to culture. Do people you work with avoid risk taking because it is discouraged for some nebulous reason?
  3. The fear of success because success brings more obligation without reward. Do people minimize success to lower future expectations?
  4. The fear of judgment because a spirit of un-forgiveness or the critical attitudes by others. Do people feel a need to be perfect because others are quick to sling mud?
  5. The fear of rejection because people are not free to be authentic and genuine.  Do people avoid sharing their struggles because others are not mature enough to handle it, let alone deal with their own messiness?

Allowing people space to grow, experience new things, take risks, or even fail is to allow them to experience the journey of life. Human nature is full of challenges. The journey allows people to face those challenges that results in better character, increased performance, and ultimately better results. Consider whether or not you take time for your journey or are you simply setting unrealistic expectations.

Can you describe how your journey has enriched your life?

Allowing Space for the Journey
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6 thoughts on “Allowing Space for the Journey

  • Steve,

    Many years ago (won’t tell you so don’t ask) I hiked the Grand Canyon. An absolutely amazing experience, but perhaps the most impactful moment occurred when I reached the canyon floor. At the Phantom Ranch, where I was to spend the night, I purchased a t-shirt emblazoned with “The Journey is the Reward.” Apropos for sure, and even more so in this much longer, often more treacherous, journey we call life.

    1. Fantastic metaphor for the journey. Phantom Ranch is a journey I would like to do for real!

  • Interesting thoughts Steve. Allowing space for the journey starts with raising of our children. Do we let them explore? Do we allow them to fail? As parent role models do we show them its ok to step out and take risk? Do we show them its acceptable to be afraid or concerned when experiencing or confronting new situations?

    As children develop into adults those who have learned to boldly go where no one has gone before can experience the up’s and down’s of life and endure. We all recognize life is a journey without clearly defined way points except birth and death. What happens in between is how well we as individuals can handle our situations. Would we rather be consumed by our fears or instead reap the rewards of life that we are given?

    1. Karen. Thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for sharing stories from your rich journey on your blog.

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