April 3, 2024

Pursuing Goals: The Castle, the Estate, and The Long Walk

Guest blogger, Amy Dunn, reflects on being present in the day to day of our lives as we pursue goals and purpose. The journey is where we live, even...

Last summer I had the pleasure of visiting Windsor Castle in England. It is the official residence of the royal family and has been the setting for many a royal wedding. If you have ever seen it, you may remember the strikingly long, tree-lined corridor that leads to it. This 2.5 mile stretch is known as The Long Walk and runs from the castle gates out to a statue of King George III. Standing on it had me feeling the slightest bit regal.

At the beginning of The Long Walk, the castle is barely visible—it almost blends in with the Elm tree line. The pathway is majestic and lovely, but definitely…long. Yet with each step the castle becomes larger in scale until—vóila!—the perspective has flip flopped and the castle is towering over the pathway ahead. Sometimes this can be what pursuing goals feels like—distant and tedious, but rewarding when the goal finally overshadows the journey it’s taken to get there. 

And yet, it is important to acknowledge the value of the walk, as the pathway towards something we wish to see is actually where most of our time is spent—it is the estate of our lives. Reaching the goal, the castle, the prize, is a satisfying finale, but the process of getting there takes up the majority of our lives. We are always on some portion of the estate or another. 

There is an instinctual part of us that is always looking forward. Whether it is an intentional goal or a future phase of life, our eyes see forward. Looking forward to what is ahead and working towards our goals is what keeps us learning and becoming better, healthier versions of ourselves, but pursuit can also leave us with some tunnel vision, forgetting to enjoy the (long) walk to our goals. Our lives are happening on the long walk, in the wandering and wondering and waiting on the walk, not simply in benchmark moments. Reaching a goal is to be celebrated, but so is the journey we are on to get there. The Long Walk, and our long walk, is to be celebrated for its lush landscaping, serene views, and even rough weather. Life happens on the walk. Yes, the castle is at the end, but let us embrace the path it takes to get there.

Thrive Center


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