Destination Addiction

Do you live in the moment? Or are you perpetually focused on your next destination or accomplishment? Do you believe that when you get to a certain place you will be happy, but you are unable to be happy now? If you have answered yes, then you may be suffering from a condition called “destination addiction.”

Destination addiction is the illusion or belief that happiness is somewhere in the future—almost like a phantom limb. “I will be happy when this happens or I arrive at a particular destination.” The truth is—a destination is just a road marker. If you arrive at that point because you have made a necessary internal change, then yes, you will be happier. On the other hand, if you just focus on getting to the destination or you push to receive the reward (destination) before you have made the internal change, then your happiness will be short-lived. Why? You have brought your existing internal conflict or unfinished business with you to the new destination and that is the real source of your discontent. Yes, new toys, new relationships, and new adventures are wonderful and fun, but I feel it is important to remember that true happiness comes from internal clarity, contentment, and being able to be fully present in your life.

Today’s fast-paced world feeds destination addiction by making us believe that this next product, this next vacation, this next thing will give us a “happily ever after.” We buy into the idea that we have to get to somewhere else before we can relax, enjoy the moment, and subsequently be happy. Without realizing it, we repeatedly create situations where we are perpetually dissatisfied.

Is there a cure for this condition? Absolutely! Do something simple that gives you pleasure. Take a walk during your lunch break—not a power walk—but rather a walk that brings you in touch with your body and the beauty around you. Connect with another human being in a new way that makes both of your lives better. Life is happening every day, but we can’t see it or benefit from it if we aren’t fully in the moment.

Yesterday I saw a young child who lives near me standing near my home on the verge of tears. She said she couldn’t remember where her house was or how to get there. She told me her address, I took her hand and we began to slowly walk her to her house. When we got there, her obviously distraught father was upset that she couldn’t find her way home by herself. I said to him, “Its Friday, she obviously has had a stressful week and when that happens our mind becomes a blur and we lose our way. Don’t you get overwhelmed sometimes, too?” My question and tone of voice brought him into the present moment, he turned his head and looked at me and said, “Yes!” So in response, I said, “Well then, cut her some slack—she is just a child!”

Destination Addiction causes us to rush through experiences so quickly we can lose touch with what is really important. What was important in that little girl’s life in that moment? She needed to know that someone she never met before would take the time to help her feel safe. She needed to know that her father was upset because he was scared that something bad had happen to her. He wasn’t angry with her, he was happy that she was fine and a neighbor had cared enough to help her when she felt lost.

As they walked away holding hands, I felt happy, not because I had “been able to check something off my list” but because I had dropped everything I had been doing (my destination or agenda), stepped fully into the moment and connected not only with the child, but with her father in a way that enabled him to also step into the moment and focus on what was really important—she was safe. The situation also helped her to feel how deeply he loved and cared about her.

I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE because they are a wonderful way reduce stress and release bottled up emotions created by our fast-paced life of today and enable you to see beyond the chaos to the beauty that surrounds you every day.

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