The Art of Traveling
We are all in such a hurry to get where we are going. We are moving so fast that we don't even remember the trip to get us to our destination. We drive to work or drive home at the end of the day and don't even see what's around us. We fly somewhere to a beautiful vacation destination and ignore the wonderful things around us at the airports, on the plane, and during our movement to and from our final destination.
We have forgotten or have become oblivious to all the wondrous and amazing things we encounter on the journeys we take. This same thing holds true for our life. If you're a parent whose kids have grown up and left home you know exactly what I mean. We were so busy with the routine of changing diapers, feeding them, bathing them, getting them to sleep, dealing with the crying, getting them to the pediatrician, and becoming head trainer and disciplinarian that we missed a lot of the wonderful and incredible experiences of our children growing and becoming beautiful adults. Looking back we wish for the dirty diapers and busy times.
If you're a grandparent, you have a different and special relationship with grandkids than you even had with your own children. Why? Because you can focus 100% of the time with them, actually with them. You don't have the busy and difficult tasks of the parent any longer. This renewed focus lets you see every aspect of a grandchild and even makes any of their spoiled or bratty behavior seem cute.
For those not of grandparent age, let's re-focus on the journey of our life and the journey of our day to day tasks, goals, dreams, and efforts. Have you ever had a wonderful goal that when finally achieved was nice but didn't live up to the hype along the path to achieve it. Think of High School or College graduation. Sure, the actual graduation was fun and exciting, but the true remembrance of each of these four years was in the day to day experiences that got you to the goal.
We rarely look back at those High School or College days and remember the actual graduation ceremony. We remember the experiences that happened during the time we were working toward the degree. We remember the great, good, bad, and ugly things that happened along the way and we remember how we became wiser and better because of them. We remember the people and the experiences we had with them.
If we stop for a minute and think about the greatest experiences of our lives, it's rarely the moment of achievement, but what occurred on the path to that achievement. A mentor of mine once said " Everyone should become a millionaire. Not for the money, but for the growth and who you must become to earn the million dollars." Our life is a journey of growth and improvement. If not, it will be a long, hard, rewardless effort.
I remember losing a great deal of money in a financial deal one time. A good friend of mine who had also been through similar hardships told me "You have now paid for the Master's degree in life, be sure you have learned the lesson." This taught me that every misstep or mistake we make in life comes with it's own lesson. The reason the elders among us seem wiser is that they have failed more. They have made more mistakes and have had more missteps. Failure leads to assessment and that assessment should lead to improvement.
Let's get back to weight loss, health, and fitness. These same principles of the journey apply. Sure, we want to be at our goal weight with a great body today. That's not going to happen and we all know that. There is a journey we must take to beat this disease and to keep it under maintenance. We must learn to evaluate our setbacks and grow and improve from them. We must develop a mindset that the day to day achievements and experiences are what make us grow and become better. The day you stand on the scale at your ideal weight and look in the mirror at your much improved body, will be the day you recall all the hardships, triumphs, and lessons you experienced on the journey.
This ability to focus on the day to day victories and learn the day to day lessons is what makes the journey to forever thin worth the work. If we look at each day as only drudgery we will never reach our goal in the first place and we will also learn to despise the process of getting healthy. Patients who have lost a great deal of weight at one time but gained it back, have more difficulty doing the same thing a second time.
The reason behind this is that during that first weight loss effort they put their head down and grinded it out. They didn't see the experience for the amazing day to day triumph and learning experience that it was. They failed to get the lesson though they paid the full tuition. They saw weight loss as a one time event and not a life's journey. We must become better travelers.
Our entire life is a traveler's experience. Within our life's travel are destinations, goal points, good and bad events, and beautiful experiences beyond explanation. To get the rich experience of life we must learn to become great travelers. Don't complain about the journey. I find it quite amusing while waiting for my bags at an airport how many fellow passengers are spending their time complaining about the flight. Seriously, we just travelled hundreds or thousands of miles in a few hours on a machine that our ancestors would believe was from another galaxy. That same journey would have taken our ancestors months to take and may have literally cost them their lives. We were in reasonable comfort, attended to, protected, and probably got a little snack and drink to appease us. We looked down on the earth from an amazing viewpoint. Oh, and just in case, there were at least 2 or 3 bathrooms at 35,000 feet.
Traveling to thin, like traveling through life, is a spectacular adventure. Focus on this day to day adventure and you will not only enjoy the trip, but will arrive at the destination with a new perspective on your life. You will have become a better person, a wiser person, and used personal growth to allow you to stay on the correct path to remain healthy for the rest of your long and wonderful life.
Whether your focus is on losing weight for good or living your best life possible, the magic is in becoming a better traveler. Don't just travel, experience!