Friday, July 26, 2013

Life Lessons—Don’t Miss the Journey Looking for the Destination

by Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D

Reba & Dakota taking off.
It seems so long ago now that Edie loaded Dakota and me in her car and took us to our starting point of my Road to Freedom solo bicycle tour across America.

Weakly and wobbly I made my way down the road, determined to make it to my daily destination. I struggled, fought and fussed about how much farther I had to go, as my childhood badgering haunted me. I heard my little girl voice shout repeatedly, “Are we there yet?”

 I was so glad to make it to my destination that first day. Since that time, so many things have happened. I’ve completely changed directions. Instead of heading over the mountains, I turned south to skirt below them. As soon as I did that, I began to enjoy the journey.

He stopped Reba and said, "There has to be a
story here."
I took the time to stop and talk to people, occasionally for an hour or more. I found out about the culture, the history and the politics of a small town. Instead of watching my odometer, I enjoyed the scenery of rural southern America. I stopped worrying about mileage and took in my journey.

I think we all fall into the trap of being so focused on the destination, we miss the journey. It’s sad, really. It’s also completely within your control to change. You don’t have to be so destination focused that you miss the trip.

Here are a few things to remember:
  • Winning the race is not either/or. Perhaps in the Tour de France or the Daytona 500 it holds true that either you win the race or you lose. But that doesn’t apply to life. To run the race and take in all the wonderful things along the journey crowns you the undisputed champion of your life.
Reba can find friends everywhere!
  • It’s rarely about the destination. Trust me on this one. Getting there without the fulfilling journey will leave you empty and void. And they’re nothing more deflating than getting to a destination with empty emotional pockets.
  • Destinations can be altered. Seriously, you won’t be reported to the destination police if you change your direction. Go for the greater journey. Get curious about what’s down that road. The more you know, they more likely you are to change your plans. Great!
  • You’ll always find your way. You may not know where you are at a particular moment, but you’re never lost. No matter where you are, there you are. Right? If you listen to your heart, you will always find a way… somehow… someway. And, it will turn out better than you could ever hope or imagine.

Seriously, it’s not about the destination. It’s ALL about the journey. Take the time to enjoy this journey you’re on. Don’t miss the journey looking for the destination.

Where are you on your journey? Are you focused on it or the destination? Why? Share it here!

Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching ( She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.


  1. Thanks for this wonderful post, Reba. You know, I've seen this message a lot lately. Slow down. Take your time. Enjoy the journey. Don't miss out on the joys and simple things of life trying to get to the next big thing. Must be God wants us all to slow down and pay attention to what's happening now. I for one don't want to miss out on what He's doing because I'm in too much of a hurry...

    1. It is sooo true. Slow down and take time to enjoy what really matters in life!

  2. For years I focused only on the end--getting my book published. Then, somewhere along the journey I realized it wasn't my job. My job was to write. Getting it published was God's job. That's when I started to enjoy the journey--several years before I landed a contract.

    Great post, Reba!

  3. Reba, thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us! I agree, there have been so many seasons in my life that I was so focused on getting to the destination, I lost the joy of the journey. Mothering is a big one--especially in the early stages. But I've learned the hard way that life doesn't have a rewind button. The journey can be hard, messy and overwhelming some days, but the scenery, the lessons we learn and the friends we make along the way enrich our lives like nothing else can. The very same thing applies to my writing journey. Thanks, again, Reba!

    1. "Life doesn't have a rewind button"... Love that!

  4. Sounds like you really did learn to go with the flow and let God take you where His Will for you is...Enjoy the trip. Would like to know where that bench with the statue is at? I bet he listened well.

    1. The statue is in downtown Greenville, SC. And, I have to say he didn't disagree with a thing I said! *wink*