Saturday, September 29, 2007

Anticipation and The Journey

My grandmother used to say, "Anticipation is so much better than realization." This statement used to cause me stress because it meant that no matter what, the goal was never going to be satisfying in the end. Getting "it" (the new car, the better job, the perfect relationship, etc.) is certainly fun, but once you've attained "it," then what? I have now come to realize a deeper wisdom in her words. "It" is never about the goal, "it" is about the journey. And when you reach that end goal "it" changes and becomes something else, just as was always intended.

Listening to my grandmother as a 7-year-old, I couldn't really relate except literally to her words. It was fun to want something that I KNEW I was going to get--- the anticipation was wonderful! But it was no fun at all to think about something that I did not believe I would get. No, that stress-filled journey was not better. But here was my flaw: My BELIEF. It was my BELIEF that I could not have what I wanted that was making me miserable. I allowed my belief that I could not attain something get in the way of my attaining it. So it wasn't the journey that was defective --- it was my belief. Change your beliefs, and you change your journey.

That leads us to the heart of the sentiment. "It," or the goal, is truly about the journey. As you are deciding on what you want, and then starting out on the journey to get it, that goal (or "it") may seem like a big, wonderful, amazing, huge thing to attain. It might seem this way because you are so far away from attaining it and it's not fully in your belief system yet. For example, your goal might be to make $250,000 in a year. If you currently make $30,0000, that larger goal may seem like a million miles away and, if you let it, might add to your stress levels! It's not yet a full-blown belief that you can make $250,000 a year. But take constant steps toward that goal, like getting a promotion, learning about investing, creating a business on the side, and you will soon be much closer to realizing your goal. Once you actually get what you were seeking, it's not such a big leap. In other words, the moment your manifestation is before you, it is simply the next logical step. Usually, right before you reach your $250,000 per year goal, you are making $200,000 or so per year. The goal that you attain, or "it," is now not such a big deal.

And now "it" changes because you have new beliefs and you are in a new vantage point. You have reached the top of your mountain, your stress is gone, and your next question might be something like, "Now what?" I used to believe that this was the let-down; that my grandmother's words were literal and therefore, the goal was inherently a disappointment. But the true wisdom is that the goal was never the end-all. The journey getting to the goal is the gift, and the goal is just the target. Once you have it, you naturally turn and set your sights to new targets. That's what I mean by "it" changing. Whatever "it" is that you want, once you attain it, it changes by way of you choosing another "it" to journey towards. And this is how it should be; how the universe was designed for us to travel through.

When I was nearing the end of my grade-school days, the junior high in my district did not have a great reputation. The junior high in the next district over, however, ranked much higher. They had a lottery for 100 spots for kids from outer districts. I put my name into that lottery. One day after school, I came home to find a postcard informing me that I had made it! I had one of the 100 spots --- something that thousands of other kids had also tried to do. I made it! My stress relief had arrived. I got to go to the junior high that was in the next district and that was so much higher in academic ranking. That day was magnificent. My goal had been reached and I was in awe. And then school started, and it wasn't such a big deal anymore. In fact, now I had a new stress in my life that I'd never even imagined before --- popularity clicks. I had to find another goal, and fast.

The goal at the end of one journey is certainly meant to be enjoyed. It's just that once you've attained it, it's not as big a deal as when you took your first step on that journey. Now, you can set your sights on new goals and new steps, and it will always be that way. The excitement of choosing, wanting, hoping, moving into knowing, and finally, attaining, is what our journey is all about. We are leading-edge creators, and life is meant to be a journey of our own magnificent creations.

Kim Markison for
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