What’s more important, the experience or the achievement at the end of the experience? What comes first into our minds? That’s a strange question, I think, but that’s my writing experience right now for you…The question needs to be asked.
I think it all comes in one chunk of consciousness that suddenly opens up to us.
At least that’s how I feel it. The goal and the journey to reach that goal come together.
Then the mind, moving ever so fast with excitement, goes into details (the more experienced you are, the more details)…It’s like a mind invasion for a few days, weeks, or months, depending on the goal and what’s required to achieve it.
So if it all comes up together, the goal and the journey, what gap are you talking about, Orit?
You want to make progress, but more often than not, if you don’t give your full attention to every step of the journey, you may fall, injure yourself and not be able to proceed. To take a literal example.
In climbing – it’s like this, for example, you want to get to the top, but where you put your hands and feet on your route is critical for any achievement you may be looking forward to.
In my daily running workouts, for example, there’s always this question – I want to finish the run, but I need to pay attention to every step, as I am running out in nature, and the trail is uneven and unexpected. I like it this way. It’s part of the experience, not knowing what comes next. I always had that risk-taking spirit.
Training on the trapeze every day, when I was performing, my “body weather” was of vital importance. Every time I got up there (5 meters in the air), I had to ask myself how I felt. What’s the fear barometer saying today? How do I feel physically? Mentally?
I’d mind the gap between what my goal was – say training for 2 hours and what my actual experience was – say, a little shaky or upset by something, or full of confidence and joy. That would make a huge difference.
I would start practicing with the longe (security belt) attached to the trapeze bar and see how it felt. If all was well, after a while, I’d try out some things without the longe (which is how I used to perform at the time). This had to be rehearsed, as it will be in performance.
When training in anything – the closest your experience is to the ultimate performance you wish to achieve, the better it is.
Ultimately, when you do things right, you get far beyond the goals you set for yourself. You can get to the spiritual nature of reality.
In Hebrew, there is this expression about Reality being above and beyond any imagination. Imagination is one of my favorite tools in life, for creation, for living. Still, reality can indeed be much more, especially when you’re open to new experiences you could not imagine before.
When you pay close attention to your experience and choose the goals appropriate to you at different phases in your life, magic happens, and your personal evolution can occasionally take you quantum leaps forward.
Kilian Jornet, in his book Above the clouds: How I carved my own path to the top of the world, says: “In the end, above the clouds is not about what I have achieved but about what I have experienced, about feeling at peace with my values when I do something and embracing the possibility of change and failure as a reward for my soul.”
Have you had that experience of something above and beyond what you expected while trying to achieve something?
Let me know in the comments below.