My sister sent me this quote below by whats-app a few days ago and it suddenly put my whole life into perspective.
It said “Beware of Destination Addiction – a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, or with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are”
This statement reminded me very much of my own life journey, so I decided to write a few words about it. I had never heard of this quote before or how the words were to affect me moving forward. I googled the term “destination addiction” and discovered that it was coined by a Dr. Robert Holden, where he wrote about it in his book Authentic Success Essential. I also found many articles written about it online and I even watched a Ted talk where this issue was explored in more detail.
This little quote truly summed up my life thus far. I have been moving around the globe looking for “that” perfect final destination to call home. At the age of 40, I still have not found yet, despite having lived in so many countries. Perhaps looking for that final destination where you will be at your happiest is like looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; it doesn’t actually exist.
Now exists; yesterday existed as did the last 40 years of my life but tomorrow doesn’t exist yet. I cannot alter the past, but I can experience today to the best of my ability and tomorrow is but a dream for now until it comes. So I need to be happy right now, doing things that make me feel fulfilled. This is a tall order, considering I have this so-called destination addiction.
Destination addiction is based on not living in the moment, but day-dreaming about tomorrow or next year and making plans for how life will be different, happier and more fruitful.
I often found myself thinking, when I meet my soul mate, then I will finally find “home” or when I move to a new country, I will start enjoying life more; learning from the mistakes of my past, I will reinvent myself etc.
So in many ways when things did not go according to the plan I created in my head prior to the move, I reverted to just passing through the seconds, minutes, hours, days and years until I could move to a new destination again. A place where I could start truly living then I would start to enjoy life again.
I often thought that maybe the next destination would bring with it my soul mate. 4o years on and even though many love affairs came into my life and lite it up with romantic love and happiness at the time, they slowly disappeared until I was left on my own again. I was always strong enough to not let it get to me for too long, I found it easy to dust myself off and be positive that one day would be “my” day.
When I look back at those experiences now, I realise I wasn’t really enjoying the moment, as I was planning the future of that particular relationship at the time. When my last relationship came to an end, it became the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle to pack up my bags and move to another country, hoping that the next country would be different. I am now here in this new country and am still waiting for it to become my final destination but I know it won’t or nor should it be. I now realise it is about enjoying the journey and learning and discovering new things.
However, in moving away to this new country, I left beautiful hot days and most of all I left the most amazing friendships a girl could ever wish for. These were special friendship that made my days bright and kept me feeling loved for who I am. I miss sitting for days on end on their sofas talking about life and putting the world to right, or rather, them putting my world to right!
Needless to say when I left for my next new adventure, I had to say good bye to these great friends. We still keep in contact, but due to network restrictions from their country to my new home, it isn’t easy, but I think of them every day as they have helped make me be the person I am today. Like old monuments and buildings all over the world, some things like solid friendships will always stand the test of time.
Time itself passes by so quickly and you think you have enough of it to waste it away until you find happiness. However if time was money, would you throw it away or burn it?
Jay Shetty summed it up when he said “you think you have time. Time is free but it is priceless. You don’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it and once it is lost, you can never get it back”.
Therefore it is important to make the most of the time that we have on this planet, because once we are on our final death bed, we need to be able to look back and have no regrets to where life has taken us.
Do I have any regrets of the way my life has gone? Absolutely not, as I do believe that things happened for a reason. I think in many ways I wish life had been kinder to me in finding romantic love sooner, getting married, having a family but perhaps unknown to myself I found different types of love which should be just as fulfilling; the love of my family at home, love of beautiful friendships made, love of living and visiting new countries, the love of learning languages and the love of new hobbies discovered.
So even though I know that this country is not my final destination, I do need to promise myself that I will enjoy this experience of now until I say goodbye to it and thank it for the adventures it gave me. I need to stop wasting away my time thinking of tomorrow and just live for NOW and finally get rid of this destination addiction that I have had all my life…