The Journey Has Value Too

I was on a call with Jack Canfield recently where Alex Mandossian was interviewing him to promote Jack’s book, “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.” There was a great metaphor Jack used that I wanted to share. You should know by now how much I like reflecting on ideas presented through stories!

Jack was addressing a question about the Law of Attraction. The questioner said that it worked for her in small areas, but she hadn’t achieved the results she wanted in larger areas.

Jack talked about going on a rafting trip that might be 10 miles long, with vans at the end to bring you back to your car. What if you decided that, instead of putting your raft in at the starting spot, you’d get a ride down to about 50 yards from the ending point and put your raft in there? After all, you’d then achieve the result much sooner.

Of course, you’re saying, “Yeah, but I’d miss the whole rafting trip!” In this example, it’s obvious that the trip itself is what we really want to experience.

But isn’t that just as true in our business and personal lives? Do we really want to find the perfect mate and then leap ahead to dying within months of each other at age 90? Of course not! It’s the life lived together, with its inevitable ups and downs, that we value.

It might seem more attractive within the business environment to start a business, for instance, and immediately jump ahead to making heaps of money. I suggest that this isn’t as attractive in reality as it sounds. (Not that I haven’t enjoyed this fantasy more than once myself!)

Let’s look at a slightly different example. Most big-money lottery winners do not fare all that well. They just aren’t prepared for what life throws at you when you suddenly have a huge amount of money – especially when everyone knows it.

I watched an Oprah show several months ago that addessed this very issue and was struck by the fact that Oprah, while very rich, accumulated her wealth over time as her career and business became more and more successful. She was able to learn over time how to deal with the new circumstances that her growing fame and wealth created. Whereas her lottery winner guests received sudden windfalls and found they didn’t make very good choices for quite a while. They hadn’t had any learning curve, just a huge leap.

In the business arena, most very successful people have had to work for years for their success. Even when it seems sudden to us, they’ve often worked without much reward for a long time before their “overnight success”.

I believe the lessons we learn on the journey are important to have when we do achieve success. Even more than that, the journey itself is often more valuable than the result.

So the next time you feel as though you’re not attracting what you want in your life, make sure you’re

  • very clear on what you want;
  • focused on what you want rather than what you don’t want;
  • putting your attention on what makes you feel good to help quiet the monkeys in your head that tell you you can’t have the results you want;
  • are taking action that will move you in the right direction.

And remember to appreciate the journey. Sometimes it’s the best part!