(Issue #618) Getting There, Not Being There

On the way to being there what do we miss along the path of getting there.


In his book No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, Michael J. Fox helps us understand his journey with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Along the way, he ends up teaching us about living a mindful life.

For instance, during one of his physical therapy sessions to strengthen and stabilize his gait, Fox had the revelation that,

“The key to walking to the other side of the room is not being there but getting there.”

In other words, don’t get ahead of yourself.

I dogeared the page.

How many times have I lost touch with what was in front of me because I was two thoughts beyond my reach or two street blocks ahead of my walk or two months ahead into my future? (Too many times.)  Or I move so fast I miss the beauty right in front of me? (Like when I almost missed the bunny and the deer in Boulder.)

For instance, the other night Laurie asked me a question while I was setting my glass down. Rather than focus on where I placed the glass, I turned my attention to answering the question. Result: Glass tumbled to the floor–breakage and spillage. And no answer for the question.

Roxie wrote of this in her Story #25 (“Focus on the Present”) in her book.

“Steve always seems to be focused on where he is going; where he needs to be; or what he needs to get done…Steve’s focus on our walks is often where we are going. He wants to arrive…get around…and return…He misses so much along the way.”

Smart canine.

We can lose sight of the present moment when we focus narrowly on the future.

One might say, “OK. But don’t we have to, at some point, consider being there? Don’t we have to focus on the goal in order to reach the goal?

True, we need to focus on our goals—and they are in the future. The question that still presents itself is “When is at some point? Can’t we still enjoy the steps along the way—the people, the experiences, the bright spots, and not-so-bright spots?

Fox (and Roxie) talk about how we need to move our attention to the steps in front of us on the way to the destination. When we don’t, what do we miss? Consider this final example.

Roxie and I walk three blocks to the ocean each morning. I consider what the sunrise holds for us when we arrive on the sand. I see us being there on the beach. One day, I decided to stop focusing on being at the beach and appreciate what we pass by getting there. To help me adjust my mindset, I asked myself, “How many palm trees do I think we pass on the way to the beach?” Keep in mind that I had been making this walk for a few decades. “Oh, probably 30 or 40. Maybe 50,” I thought.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

Wrong. One house alone has nearly 30 palm trees. The total number within the three-block stretch: over 200. Experiences I mindlessly passed each day. Beauty taken for granted. And that is only one of many on that short route.

How many experiences are you missing on your journey?

On the way to being there what do we miss along the path of getting there.


Video recommendation for the week.

One of my favorite sunrise videos. Enjoying the paddle by taking a break from the paddle. Don’t miss the pod of dolphin that suddenly appear! Sometimes the getting there becomes the being there.


Make it a wonderful week and HTRB has needed.

You will find my latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

You can find my podcasts (all fifty episodes) here.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2022. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®
Atlantic Beach, Florida

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
This entry was posted in Mindfulness, present-mindedness and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to (Issue #618) Getting There, Not Being There

  1. Pingback: (#74) Lessons from the Turtles in the Park – Roxie Moves Beyond the Biscuit

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