By Shefa Ali
This week on my weekly Instagram show Swalif Mohammed al-Thani, the 7summit summiteer, joined us as a guest. Talking about his adventures and his mountain climbing brought back memories of my climb to Mount Kilimanjaro back in 2015. I took a group of ladies to Tanzania to climb the highest mountain in Africa to raise money for a local orphanage in Moshi town.
That trip will always serve as an important lesson for me that I try and reflect on regularly. In life, we tend to be focused on our ultimate destination and not necessarily the journey itself or how we plan to get there. The trip to Mount Kilimanjaro trip taught me that there is so much joy in the planning, that there can also be so much beauty in the struggle of reaching your destination and that even if for some reason or another you don’t actually reach your destination, nothing about the journey is ever wasted.
However, it’s not enough to simply know that you will eventually get to your destination. We should always travel with a well-defined map and a purposeful direction in mind. There is great value in learning what you might see, hear, and discover along the way – and how that knowledge can affect your original destination plans. Minimising our travel time is certainly a worthy objective in determining which road to take but might not be the only factor we should consider. There may be other opportunities we want to take advantage of while we plan our journeys. That’s true on a trip – and it’s also true of life.
Another important thing to remember is our point of origin while we move forward in our lives. This is the real essence of our journeys – as long as we travel with our place of origin in mind (a metaphor for our values and intentions), we will undoubtedly reach our destination. And when our points of origin continue to direct us in our travels, we give our lives meaning. Although I still get excited about reaching the destination, a metaphor for my life goals, I am now a lot more conscious of the journey itself.
I’m not writing this column to disregard accomplishments and success; of course they can be wonderful things. What I’m talking about is balance. Are you focused only on accomplishment, or being fulfilled along the way as you reach it? What is your destination? Are you enjoying the journey? I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to share your stories with me via DM on Instagram.
The author is a consultant and coach. Instagram handle: @miss_shefa, Website: missshefa.com
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