“Happy journey” and the expectation-roadblock

The train ticket says “HAPPY JOURNEY.”

And I was certainly expecting it to be a journey, with 725 KM to travel over 14 hours. But I was not expecting it to be a happy one, as I had spent hours unsuccessfully trying to book a ticket that would allow me to sleep for most of the overnight trek (and unfortunately could only manage a 205 Rs general ticket that would most likely mean going without much/any sleep).

After a few minutes of indecisive debate, I realized that millions of people spend 14+ hours sitting/sleeping upright and I would obviously be able to manage, somehow.

image from Arif Mohammad

It’s often said that good things come when we least expect them. But I wonder if it might be more accurate to say that good things come because we least expect them. In other words, our very expectation itself becomes a huge roadblock, only allowing for happiness or gratitude to pass through if they are able to climb over this insurmountable obstacle.

But, if we’re able to tear down / avoid building this expectation roadblock, any/all good things are then able to travel through unimpeded.

For example, because I was okay with the 750 KM journey being a struggle — and didn’t expect it to be smooth sailing — I ended up having one of the most enjoyable journeys possible. From the endless blue seaside and green field views, the rain-orchestrated soundtrack (and temperatures), the veg biryani menu, the brotherly company and even the 8+ hours of interrupted sleep.

Sometimes good things happen because all our plans derail, because we least expect good things to happen, and because we’ve somehow managed to not construct the expectation roadblock that usually prevents us from having a “happy journey.”

“it is common to take a dog for a walk, it is less common to take a dream for a walk” || @amalacademy + @understory cofounder | nature novel in progress

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