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To Travel Hopefully


Explanations > Behaviours > Games > To Travel Hopefully

The pleasure of attraction | The fear of disappointment | The fear of emptiness | So what?


"It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive." -- Robert Louis Stephenson's quote is the basis of many lives and an underlying reason why many journeys, even painful ones, never end.

The games and scripts we play out in our lives are effectively journeys. They give us meaning and their execution thus becomes an end in itself.

The pleasure of anticipation

The nice thing about playing games is the anticipation that they bring. If the game has an attractive outcome, then we look forward to the pleasant end of the game. If the game itself is unpleasant, then we look forward to the relief of reducing the pain.

The fear of disappointment

We travel in the game with a hope that, when it completes, our expectation of success will be completed. We also may also fear that the glorious ending that we are anticipating will not be that wonderful. Comparing the possibility of a positive outcome with the more powerful and devastating thought of not achieving our goals leads us away from completion and into an endless journey of fantastic hope.

The fear of emptiness

Another fear that can strike us is the potential nothingness of a completed journey. As we travel, we gain meaning, both in the intended goal and the interpretation of daily events. When we look forward to the journey's end, we may see an end to this daily meaning in our lives.

The end of a journey can be like a death, where we may mourn what is past and can never be again. The fear of this alone is enough to keep many of us on the road for much longer than necessary.

So what?

If you or someone you are seeking to change is travelling hopefully, then first understand their attraction vs. avoidance preference so you can focus most effectively.

Build pleasure beyond the idea of completion. Make the journey less attractive than its end. Calm their fears and reassure them. Help them to complete the journey and also to mourn and recover.

If it is what you need, you can also keep them in the game by doing the opposite, building up fear of completion and pleasure in the delights of the journey.

See also

Hope, Fear

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