Enjoy the Journey, Because the Destination is Not that Great
As cliched and overused as the adage is, enjoy the journey rings true across any discipline, any culture, and any era.
Whatever destination it is that one is aiming for, the journey it takes to get there should take precedence over the destination itself. It is almost never about the destination.
The destination is not what forces you to show up day after day, pull all-nighter after all-nighter.
The destination is not what teaches you about perseverance and integrity, nor is it the destination that instills a never-die attitude.
The hardest lessons are bestowed in the journey itself. It has always been this way, and it will continue to be this way.
There is a great deal of evidence that reveals the pervasiveness of Olympic athletes becoming depressed after their world-class careers.
These athletes are at the very top of the 0.01% of all athletes that ever walked the face of the globe, and yet they too must deal with the reality that the destination is never as sweet as the journey itself.
Maintaining a level of discipline and motivation for decades, something upwards of 95% of your life as an athlete in the Olympics, only to have it all stop the very second you are finished competing can be jarring.
The very notion of identity comes into question for these athletes; something they built a life upon is now over. The pinnacle has been reached. What happens next?
The journey is where the lessons transpire. The peak, the destination, is unfortunately where things often begin to drop off, not improve.
It is the journey that makes us who we are and dictates where we will go. The destination, really, is but an afterthought.
For what does it matter where we are going, so long as we travel well and safely and courageously?
After two years of writing, I published my book last week. It has garnered stellar reviews and sales, far better in both categories than I had anticipated.
I wrote it while traveling abroad for the better part of the last couple of years. I had thought originally that the very second I hit “publish” I would be ecstatic and happy and elated.
I was for a brief moment, but then it all deflated like a balloon that had been flying for too long, too high.
This forced me to reflect on my journey, which is how I better realized the lessons I write about today.
The journey is where I became a better writer, a sharper thinker, a better individual, a harder worker. The journey is where I learned about myself and met characters and saw things.
The destination, however — the publishing of my book that I wrote in my journey — did not teach me much other than the very notion that the journey is where the good stuff really is.
So I part from you with this:
Enjoy the journey, because the destination is not that great.