Why Shortcuts In Life Will Never Lead To Long-Term Happiness
We've heard countless people tell us, "Life's about the journey, not the destination."
It's become such a redundant and overlooked phrase that it's now just another clichéd life lesson.
However, despite our fast-paced society, this phrase holds such an underlying value.
We get so caught up with constantly staying productive and striving to accomplish everything on our to-do lists, and we become too concerned with getting where we want to be the fastest way possible.
Somewhere along the way, we forget to be patient and enjoy the ride.
Recently, my pastor explained that although shortcuts to get to our destinations in life may provide us with with comfort, they don't necessarily provide us with long-term happiness.
I then realized the importance of enjoying the journey.
Now, I'm not by any means saying being ambitious isn't important.
Trust me; I'm passionate and ambitious, and I'm always trying to make my ideas a reality.
However, there's a difference between being ambitious and enjoying the process to reach your destination, and being ambitious and trying to take shortcuts to get to your destination faster.
Typically, when you take the second route, you get cheated in some way.
This year, I experienced a great deal of change.
It was a year full of adjustments and trials (a few of which I didn't handle gracefully).
The most important lesson I learned in the midst of these drastic changes was you can't get to a certain point in your life before you are meant to get there.
For example, many new college students, like me, have developed a rather unfamiliar sense of loneliness.
Sure, we are constantly surrounded by a multitude of people, but sometimes, that makes us feel even more lonely than ever.
When you're away from your home with a a sea of strangers, you experience an overwhelming struggle of trying to find your own identity and place in the world.
Since we do everything in our limited power to avoid this, we end up seeking temporary comfort with temporary fixes.
Our desperate need to fill this void with meaningless romances and fleeting intoxicated nights usually puts us in even lonelier positions than before.
When we attempt to fill these voids with superficial desires, we are taking shortcuts.
Some may take shortcuts to happiness, and some may take shortcuts to feel secure with themselves.
But the truth is, sincere fulfillment can only be attained through time.
Time helps us acknowledge and accept loneliness, and time helps us develop new independence.
Similarly, with all other aspects in life, rushing to arrive at certain points will usually only result in half-assed outcomes.
This leads to disappointment and unnecessary heartache.
Patience is a virtue, my friends.
The key to avoiding taking these shorter, inauthentic shortcuts is to be satisfied with all that we are currently offered in our lives.
If we want to become satisfied with what we do have, we must enjoy the journey and appreciate the process of getting to a certain destination.
This process can be applied to a romantic relationship, job promotion, discovering your passions or figuring out your career after college.
We are accustomed to such a fast-paced lifestyle, and we forget that anything valuable to us requires time and patience.
During the process of being patient over time, you'll discover new opportunities, wisdom and a hell of a lot more about yourself than you would expect.
So wherever you're at in your life or whatever goals you aspire to accomplish, remember that it's not necessarily about when you reach those destinations, but rather how you do so.
So enjoy the journey, appreciate the process and don't take shortcuts.