Embrace the journey of life. Sounds easier said than done. Especially when the journey sucks.
I’ve been there my fair share of times. In fact, I’m still there sometimes. Wondering if my efforts to move forward in life are making any difference.
Getting frustrated with the things in life that aren’t going my way. Despite that, I still embrace the journey of life.
I want to offer you some ways that you can embrace the journey too.
5 ways to embrace the journey
1. Focus on the small steps of progress
The journey of life is filled with ups and downs. Perhaps it’s our human nature, but somehow we tend to focus on the downs more than the ups.
We focus on not being at the destination rather than appreciate being on the way. A Harvard Business Review article noted that researchers have found major life achievements rarely give us lasting joy.
It makes you wonder why we put so much attention to waiting for big things to happen in our lives. In actuality, the consistency of maintaining a routine of action brings more lasting joy.
An example of this could be being successful at regularly exercising. Those consistent small steps of progress you make, according to the Sloan school of management, give you long-lasting joy.
I find myself happy that I at least keep trying to do better, which seems like that’s a part of what this journey is all about.
2. Learn lessons from your life
I think many things in life we’re not satisfied with is generally a result of a lesson we haven’t learned. An example I referenced in one of my previous posts was not speaking up for myself enough sometimes.
Inside I’ve been mad and disappointed about the way people are in my life, but they’re only that way because I rarely spoke up, and rarely set limits. As the old saying goes, “you teach people how to treat you“
Just as that has been a consistent lesson I’ve had to keep learning to apply in my life, you may have lessons in your life you still need to learn. A research study found personal growth was connected with well-being.
The more you take time to reflect on the lessons in your life that can help you grow, the more you can develop joy in your life.
3. Be grateful for the good
At the end of the day, everything isn’t all as bad as you think it is. It’s important to be aware of that by recognizing what you have to be grateful for.
I wouldn’t be surprised if gratitude is one of the least practiced qualities among humans. It’s certainly one I consistently forget.
As the old song goes, sometimes you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. But fortunately, you don’t have to wait until what you have is gone.
In fact, you can think about what you’re grateful for right now, or write it down. It’s that simple.
When you do that, you can experience more joy. I’m going to try to really hammer this one into your head because it’s one of the easiest things we can do to embrace the journey of life.
A Harvard Medical School article noted two psychologists found those who wrote something they were grateful for 10 weeks felt better about their lives.
Another researcher in the same article had people write letters of gratitude to someone they appreciate. The resulting effect was a significant increase in happiness.
Even in relationships, it was discovered those who expressed gratitude to their partner felt more positive about them, and it made discussing future relationship issues easier.
The article by its own admission notes that some people didn’t benefit as much from gratitude. Still, a lot of people do, so you could at least try it regularly and see what happens.
Before I sleep at night, I try to always think about the things I’m grateful for. At least for myself, remembering how fortunate I am has helped me to be less negative about life.
4. Don’t be afraid to try new things
Feeling stuck in life can be one part of what makes it hard to embrace the journey of life. If there’s not much of a journey going on, it’s logical to wonder what’s there to embrace.
That’s why it’s important to try new things. It can open a door to opportunities that make your life more of the journey you feel compelled to embrace.
Unfortunately, we tend to be creatures of habit. There was a study done where people were forced to take a new route on their commute due to a workers’ strike.
When the strike was over, a majority of the commuters went back to the old route. Here’s the crazy part.
The people who stuck with the new route had less time in their commute. This is one of perhaps many examples of opportunities missed when we don’t try to embrace the different possibilities that life has to offer.
When I think of the word “journey”, I think of the word “story”. How all of our lives are like a story unfolding every day.
You can embrace the journey of life by taking a new path that can write a new chapter in your life. You never know how you might benefit from it in ways you didn’t imagine.
5. Value the people you encounter
The journey of life isn’t a journey without the people we encounter. Many people have their own stories of triumph and heartbreak.
Sometimes they might be experiencing the heartbreak more than the triumph. Embracing the journey of life isn’t just about the happiness we receive, but the happiness we give as well.
When we take time to help others, it not only makes that person happy, it makes us happy too. People are important. Remember them as you focus on your journey in life.
How do you embrace the journey?
All of these tips are a start towards embracing your own journey in life. These by no means are the only way you can.
You can discover what you find makes you feel you’re embracing that journey. You should even feel free to read what other people have said about the topic to help spark your own ideas.
Embrace the journey quote
“Embrace who you are and your divine purpose. Identify the barriers in your life, and develop discipline, courage and the strength to permanently move beyond them, and keep moving forward.” – Germany Kent