I traveled for 8 hours to be somewhere for 3 hours. It was my most productive day in weeks.
Today I went to my friend’s party in East Hampton. The train ride between New York’s Penn Station and East Hampton is 2.5-3 hours. When I factor travel to and from each train station, total travel time is about 4 hours each way.
Time at the party: approximately 3.5 hours.
Total travel time: 8 hours.
On the surface, this appears to be an inefficient use of time.
In a world focused on how we can get to our destination faster, spending 8 hours of travel time to be somewhere for 3.5 hours seems foolish.
But to view it as such would be to miss the entire point: the journey is the destination.
The party was great. I had fun connecting with friends I haven’t seen in a while. I met new people.
But if I’m being honest, the party was just an excuse to get on a train for several hours.
I love trains. They are the only place where external environment — the passing scenery — moves faster than my mind.
What I needed was a no thinking day. No inputs. No outputs. No decisions.
Of course, I could have used the train time to be more “productive.” I could have brought a book or worked on writing projects. I could have listened to podcasts. But that’s not what I needed.
What I needed was mind rest.
I did no work. I did not even pretend to do work. I did not read a book. I did not listen to a podcast.
I listened to music. I let my mind wander. I reflected. I meditated. I daydreamed. I cleared my mind. I connected with myself. I gave myself space to just BE.
I tapped into stillness and connected with my inner wisdom. I connected with my breath and gazed out the window. It’s like an open-eye meditation: seeing my inner and outer world with more clarity.
In this state, everything falls away. I experienced floods of various emotions in quick succession. Pure presence.
6 hours on a train. Eyes wide open. Gazing at the world. Clearing my mind.
It was the most productive day I’ve had in weeks.