More Everyday JoyThe Way of Compassion

Everything A Destination

By May 31, 2009 One Comment

When we really get present, every moment in life becomes a destination; nothing is just a step on the way to something else. Every activity is an ends in itself.
We have to decide to value each moment for what it is, we have to act as if every moment is worthy of our full presence and attention. But when we do, the moment opens up to us. It reveals itself to us. Our experience of reality becomes more vivid, beautiful, and fascinating.
I like to challenge myself by holding every activity is an complete ends in itself, not a means to something else. This is tough – commuting, moving in between tasks, laundry, waiting in line….it is difficult to hold those activities as ends in themselves.
A simple way to begin playing with the idea that “everything is a destination” is to change your approach to the driving, walking, biking or other commuting you do. Instead of thinking of it as a means to an end, think of that time as an end in itself. Explore ways to get the most enjoyment and meaning out of that time.
I also love to play with the concept of “everything is a destination” at work. Many of us have internal stories about the “real” or “important” parts of our jobs, as opposed to all the distractions and random stuff that comes our way from day to day. Play with making each activity — each email, each phone call, each interaction, each document — the focus of your full attention. See how this impacts the quality of the work and your level of enjoyment of what you do.
For me, this is connected to a wonderful teaching from Byron Katie that upended my approach to almost everything. Katie notices that many of us want to “become successful” in our careers. She points out, “You can’t become successful. You can only be successful.” She’s right. I can’t think of one person who “became successful” without the building blocks of being successful, one moment at a time, as they encountered that moment in the present. We also can’t become courageous, kind, beloved, or happy. We can only be courageous, kind, beloved, and happy. What looks like “becoming” when we pull the camera back is actually just being something, one present moment at a time, over time.
What do you want to become? Be that thing today.
What do you consider an annoying step along the way to some important destination? Give that step your full attention and make it an ends in itself. See what difference that makes to the quality of your day.

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