When the Journey Matters as Much as the Destination

July 7th, 2011   •   1 comment   

Stanley Park @ Vancouver
Sightseeing tours are all about the journey

What is your idea of a job well done?  Is it that golden moment when you can proudly tick off the box on your “To Do” list? Would completion alone be equated to success?

While some may argue that one should just “do whatever it takes to get there”, I believe that the process of reaching that goal is often just as important as breasting the finish line.  The path which we take – the way in which things were done, the people whom we worked with, the relationships forged, the kicks that we get along the way – play a far stronger role in influencing its eventual outcome than we imagine.
Tunnel Mountain
Going uphill on a trek on Tunnel Mountain is part of the fun

Consider this example.

You are asked to spruce up the office reception area as it is getting a little old and tired looking.  There are two ways to do this.  You can either go ahead to do it using your own prerogative of what works best, or you can seek the opinions of your colleagues and customers.

While both approaches work, it is more likely that the second option will gain you more support and buy-in when the deed is done.  Unilateral decisions are usually less welcomed in a team-oriented environment.

Icefields Parkway
Don’t forget to enjoy the scenery while headed to your destination

Wherever possible, one should also take time to smell the flowers and soak in the moment while anticipating the end point.  While engaging oneself in the task at hand, remember to sample and delight in the little pleasures along the way.  Every step taken is a mini victory in itself.  Cherish them.

Do also learn to treat yourself to little rewards with each milestone completed, rather than postpone your happiness only towards the end.  This is especially so if the route is particularly arduous.

If you think about it, life itself is more about journeys than destinations.  Getting that university degree or that promotion is simply the culmination of years of hardwork, often peppered with many little “eureka moments”. Rather than spend your time and energies fretting about the future goal, why not learn to take pleasure in the here and now.

As renowned scifi author Ursula K. LeGuin shares…

β€œIt is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

Tunnel Mountain
Summiting a mountain is much sweeter when one enjoys the journey getting up there

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One comment

  1. posted on Jul 10, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Dropping by from Bing’s website! Anyway, I cannot help but to agree that very often in life, we tend to overlook the journey and instead, concentrate more on the destination. Like you put it, the focus on pay and benefits of a job rather than job satisfaction which is equally, if not, more important. I’m guilty of overlooking this as well and it’s really little reminders like this blog entry that helps us to further reflect upon our lives and hopefully make changes for the better πŸ™‚

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