Mind The Gap

13 01 2010

Think of all of the people that you know, or know of.

Visualise a scale from 1 to 10 and give the person you admire the most a 10.

Now score yourself. Less than 10? Am I right?

Pretty much everyone has this gap between how they see themselves and how they would like to be and most of us work to close that gap. But no matter how hard we try to close it the gap persists as our ambitions alter,  our aspirations shift  and our circumstances change.

So, how realistic is it to think that the gap can ever be closed completely?

Completely unrealistic in my opinion, so does this mean that we shouldn’t try to close the gap?

Absolutely not, as the gap between where/who we are and where/who we would like to be is what keeps us motivated to try new things….it keeps us moving forward with our lives.

And here’s the thing.  While the goal is important it is not as important as the journey.  Ursula K LeGuin put it beautifully when she said “it is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end”.

This is a way of thinking that I find particularly helpful in my yoga practice and a lesson that I take into my life.  Here’s an example I used to give my yoga students to help them understand the difference between the destination and the journey.  If you decide that you are going to walk to the park you set out, head down, brisk strides and sometime later you get to the park. That’s fine. If you decide to go out for a walk then you enjoy the walk, you experience the walk, feeling the sun, the breeze, smelling the air, hearing the sounds of the birds or the traffic. Some time later you may find yourself in the park. The end point is the same but experience will have been completely different.

Whatever your goals, whatever your destination, however big the gap is between where you are and where you want to be, make sure that you experience the journey.