Is Life About the Journey or the Destination?

Is the journey of life what’s important?  Or is it your goal or your destination that makes life worth it?  The short answer: Yes.  The journey and the destination are important, and they reciprocally make the other worth it.  An aimless journey is not very satisfying, and it’s not worth the trip.  Vice versa, you can’t reach a destination if you don’t take a journey–otherwise, you haven’t left the place where you started.

I thought about this “journey vs. destination” question this past week as I was running my last marathon training run.  It was only a 2 mile run.  Despite its lacking in distance, it felt so very important… being the final run before I attempted the 26.2.  Running a familiar route near my house, memories of training runs over the past four months played through my mind… from runs squeezed in through neighborhoods after work (some run half outside/half on the treadmill because it was getting dark outside) to times that the safety of when and where I chose to run was questionable at best.  There were also the many runs completed in snow, in sleet, in bitter cold, in biting wind… or long weekend runs that I accidentally ran a little too far or not quite far enough.

All in all, as crazy as it all was, as hard and frustrating as the runs sometimes were (physically and emotionally)… while the memories played back, I realized that I’m fondly attached to them.  There’s something strangely special about times of challenge… and, yes, as sayings that talk about the journey being most important would suggest, you often don’t realize how important journeys are until they draw near to a close.

Still, the destination is important, too.  Doing all of that training and then not running my marathon–or attempting it but not completing it–would have been pretty disappointing.  Plus, you better believe I enjoyed the thrill of actually running my marathon (and even more so the thrill of finishing it!).  The arduous training made the success even sweeter.

My recommendation: Treasure your journeys and celebrate reaching your destinations.

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