“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson –
My beautiful boyfriend and I, after eating a delicious meal together last night decided that we’d sit down a play a board game. Now I’m a big fan of board games and spent many an hour playing them with my little sister growing up, because she loved them too. And we got pretty good at them. In fact, my sister got so good at Monopoly in particular, I ended up refusing to play it with her, but that’s another story entirely. Game of Life was another favourite too.
Last night, our game of choice was a game we recently bought called Ticket To Ride (Europe Edition). It’s a fantastic strategy game, quite similar to the now world famous Settlers of Catan (another favourite of mine). It involves competing with others to create train lines and journeys between major European cities to collect points. You are given a set of routes, whereby you need to connect specific destinations, but you don’t know which routes one another are needing to connect. It’s then a race to see who can build their routes the quickest and collect the most points before you run out of trains.
In short, it’s great fun for people who like strategy board games. It was also fun to play something that took me back to Europe in my head and reminded me of the travelling that I did there in my 20s.
So, how is this relevant to today’s blog post?
Well, I spent the entire game convinced that I would win. I believed it in every part of my being, every decision that I made, every route that I laid, every card that I picked up. I knew every action that I took was going to be contributing to me winning. And I had fun along the way. I had even convinced myself that I would be awarded the ‘Longest journey’ card at the end, which is given the the player that has created a route which contains the longest number of trains.
Interestingly enough, Darren beat me. And he beat me pretty convincingly too. I think it was by at least 15 points. And, he took the ‘Longest journey’ card from me right at the end. With one turn left each, my journey contained 31 carriages, and his contained 29. In his final turn, he laid a 3 carriage route, and I couldn’t do anything, as I didn’t have the right cards in my hand. So in his last turn, he swiped the extra 10 points, to add to the 5 point lead he already had.
Was I bothered? No. Why? Because I had, had so much fun playing the game. And I didn’t care that I hadn’t won, because I had just spent 2 awesome hours having fun playing a brand new game (something that I love) with someone that I love. And to be honest, I can’t wait to play again.
There’s a reason why the saying ‘it’s not the winning, but the taking part that counts‘ exists. Now I’m not saying that success isn’t important to me, it is. It always has been, right from when I was the captain of my school’s hockey team at the age of 13, right the way through to achieving my 1st class honours degree in Business at Uni and most recently setting up my own business.
However, what I have come to realise and understand, is that life really is about the journey, rather than the destination.
I felt the same when I walked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 2011. You spend 4 days getting up at 5am every day and spending 8-10 hours a day walking. You endure steep climbs, tricky and wobbly steps, you witness beautiful vista after beautiful vista. You experience mind-blowing and breathtaking views at every turn. And most importantly for me, I enjoyed the chats that I had with the amazing people that were walking it with me. Life changing, mind expanding discussions with complete strangers who are now some of the most special people in my life.
We probably spent a few hours at the site of Machu Picchu itself on the 4th day and I cried my eyes out when I got there. Not only for the incredible beauty of everything that surrounded me, but by the overwhelming emotion I felt from the journey that I had just been on and endured in order to get there. I literally felt on top of the world. And my heart was full of so much love and wonder for what I had achieved.
The other amazing thing was that as we arrived, our hearts sank a little as the entire site was covered in clouds and we realised that we probably wouldn’t get a good photo. However, as we took our attention away from the clouds, and took photos of the entire group enjoying our achievement, the cloud started to shift and disappear, as if by magic. And the wonder of Machu Picchu appeared, as if from nowhere.
So, my thought for you today is this. Don’t worry about the destination. I mean of course, get clear on it. Understand where it is specifically that you want to go or what you want to achieve. And then, let go of how you’re going to get there and just trust that the Universe will give you everything that you could possibly need at exactly the right time, for you to get to where you want to go. I promise you with all of my heart.
And I’ll leave you with a really fantastic clip of the incredibly talented Mr Bill Hicks (one of my all time favourite comedians) summing up the fact that life is ‘just a ride’ absolutely brilliantly.
Enjoy every moment of today and trust that you are in complete and utter control of how amazing and truly brilliant it will be. All you have to do is decide what you would like.
Lots of love, light and hugs,
Kat x x x
Inspiration for today
Ticket to Ride – Europe Edition
Travelling to Machu Picchu with GAP adventures
Bill Hicks – Enjoy the ride – 3 minute You Tube clip
I too appreciate the distinction of being in the moment and being part of the game to enjoy it. Then by nature success is yours. Same with life. Are you in the game or a bystander. After all it’s your game of life. Get in there expect to win act like you are be present at all times and if things don’t quite work our the way you planned remember the possibility is always there for another time.
Absolutely Francis. I couldn’t agree more!