The Outcome Doesn't Matter.
"Enjoy the journey, enjoy the process, stop focusing on the outcome." How many times have we heard these phrases throughout our lifetime? I know I have a ton. Growing up, it seemed as if with everything I did in my life, my dad was in my ear, reminding me to slow down and enjoy the process. As someone who was always fast-paced, always jumping from endeavor to endeavor in order to "check things off" my to-do list, these phrases annoyed the hell out of me. I couldn't care less about the journey- I just wanted the end result.
But I wasn't alone in this school of thinking. So many people share these same thought patterns, working to only get what they want, and not stoping to smell the roses along the way. They want that paycheck, that mortgage, that husband or wife, but they don't take time to enjoy the process of getting those things. Of putting the work in to get that paycheck, or going on dates to meet that future spouse. Instead, they focus on destination, destination, destination, and end up grumpy and miserable along the way. They fall into this problem where they're active on the path to their desires, but they're too active, so much so that they miss all of the important signs and steps that are set in place to help them get to where they want to be, quicker. It's as if they have blinders on, and are so focused on taking the designated route towards what they want that they miss the shortcut that's just outside their line of vision.
But this isn't meant to sound like a criticism, or an attack against humanity and its routine way of thinking. I suffered from this same mindset for so long- if I'm being honest, I got out of this state of mind only recently. It's a hard one to break. It's hard to be able to look at a journey objectively, from afar, and take it for what it is, rather than focusing solely on what you want out of it. It's like if you were eating a Kit Kat- the normal instinct is to eat the entire thing super fast, to go straight towards that desired feeling of satisfaction. It's a lot harder to break it apart, eat one half now, and eat the other half a bit later, eating it slower, as you savor each and every bite. But what if, by breaking it apart, you noticed that there was another, baby sized Kit Kat inside of the second half? You now have another whole part of a Kit Kat that you would have missed before. But, since you went about things slower, thus enjoying the process of eating the Kit Kat, you were able to prolong your desired feelings of satisfaction and get more than you bargained for in the end. A win-win situation, if you ask me.
Okay, that was probably a horrible analogy. But I'm tired and my mind's on Christmas. Oh, and I haven't eaten a Kit Kat in probably four(ish) years. You can blame that reference on the Kit Kat wrappers I found on my backseat thanks to a certain Mr. Jakob.
But anyway, point being is: when it comes down to it, the outcome doesn't matter. It's the process that's more important.
Of course, by no means am I saying that you shouldn't go after what you want. Go after it. In fact, chase it with all of your heart and soul. Run towards it and never look back. But as you continue to run, watch out for the pebbles (err... baby Kit Kats?) in the dirt along the way. These pebbles, these valuable nuggets of information, will help teach you exactly the lessons you need to learn. Not only so you can achieve your desires, but so you can serve your larger life purpose.
For example, for the longest time I was so dead-set that I only wanted to be a successful fashion blogger. That was it. And for the longest time, I found myself so caught up in that idea, that I was focused more on how I was going to get to that point, rather than just enjoying creating content that I loved. And as a result, I wasn't getting to where I wanted to be. I kept hitting block after block, wondering why other people who were working half as hard as I was were getting ten times further than me.
It wasn't until I stepped back and stopped focusing on being successful that things grew quickly. Not only that, but in stepping back, I discovered so many new passions of mine along the way, such as photography. If I had gone straight towards getting what I wanted, or rather, ignored the process of getting there, I wouldn't have discovered something that makes my heart just as happy as blogging does. Nor would I have been able to re-brand my blog as I have, to center around my love and for sustainability. If I had become successful right from the start, and remained solely focused on where I wanted to be, I can guarantee I would not be loving the content I was putting out as much as I do now, nor would I be as happy with the end result once I got it.
But branding aside, the point is, you never know where life is going to take you, but at the same time, it's not our job to know. Our job, aside from being the best, most wholesome people we can be, is to set intentions for ourselves, and learn the lessons that come alongside the path of achieving the tangible form of those intentions. It's about learning and growing- physically, mentally, and spiritually- in order to reach that place of complete wholesomeness.
We are not all-knowing beings. Everything in our life, be it good, bad, or ugly, comes into our life to teach us something. And it is through those teachings and lessons that we grow into ourselves, and begin to not only discover more about ourselves, but about the world around us.
So while having what we want is great, remember that the process of getting there can be even better. Even if it's uncomfortable at first, if you can learn to relax and move through it with ease, like water down a stream, you'll be able to look back on it fondly and be grateful for those pebbles of information that ultimately helped lead you to where you wanted to be.
Be relentlessly active on the path towards your desires. But also, don't be so laser-focused that you begin to lose sight of the world around you. Chances are, the path to your desires will take lots of sharp twists and turns, but ultimately, it'll lead you to an outcome better than you could have ever imagined. Even if that "better" only comes in the form of a baby Kit Kat (but hopefully it'll be much better than that, right?)
So while we're on the topic of being active on the path to your desires, let's talk about some activewear, shall we? I am completely obsessed with this activewear set from Outdoor Voices. It arrived in the mail last week, and I think I've worn these leggings at least five times since then. It is so comfy, so soft, and the compression fabric is flexible and breathable, perfect for walking around the city or just sitting at home and working.
I'd heard so many amazing things about Outdoor Voices from my friend Julia, but was always hesitant to try them since I don't workout often. I often feel this pressure that if I'm going to wear activewear, I have to go to the gym, even if I don't want to. Maybe that sounds strange (it probably does), but nevertheless, its always stopped me from buying cute activewear. So when I recently spoke to Outdoor Voices about collaborating together, I figured, what better time to get out of this activewear funk? And judging by how often I wear this set, I think it's safe to say that I've fallen right out of it.
One of the things I love so much about Outdoor Voices (aside from the fact that all their clothing is sustainable and ethically made!) is the fact that they promote the idea of #DoingThings. Whether it's walking to the coffee shop with friends or hiking a mountain, instead of following the mantra of most activewear brands, which is just to beef up and make the gym your lifestyle, OV's message revolves around the idea of getting up and doing whatever makes you happy and gets you moving, no matter what intensity level it is. And for someone like me who likes being active but isn't a total gym rat, this message resonates with me way more (also, most of those other big name activewear brands are horribly unethical, which is a total bummer).
So while you're living your active lifestyle- whether it be on the path towards your desires, or on the path to becoming your fittest self- I would one-hundred-percent recommend hopping on Outdoor Voices. And no, this isn't sponsored (although they did send me this set!) I just truly love their message, their clothes, and their ethics. Plus, their founder is a young twenty-something female. Women-owned businesses for the win!
Think of this post as both your #MondayMotivationOnASunday and your (super-late) holiday gift guide. Speaking of which, I've always wanted to do a gift guide, but then the holidays roll around and I always forget. Maybe, like outcomes, it's one of those things that just doesn't matter. ;)