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Appreciate The Journey, The Destination May Be Different Than You Think

We rush.

Moving towards our goals.

We write our books.

Craft our songs.

We pursue our creative journey.

Push our foot down a little more on the gas pedal, hoping to shave off another 5 minutes from the trip.

We envision what it will be like when we arrive.

We tell ourselves stories of the future, becoming blind to the present moment.

We work harder, and dance less frequently.

We struggle, we wait for the “payoff” down the road.

As I work with writers, trying hard to find an agent, get a book deal, and establish an audience, I am reminded.

As I take a walk with my 1.5 year old son, I am reminded.

Appreciate the journey.

Not “when,” but “now.”

Bands struggle for success, yet look back fondly on the early days.

When they had drive, and unknown potential, and a dreamy sense of what could be.

The time before they found “success,” which was different than they expected, making them question why they wanted it in the first place.

My friend Jane Friedman shared this quote to me: “The most disappointed writers I know are not the unpublished, but those who have been published.”

Her point is that the destination may let you down.

That “success” may not be what you expect.

That you must appreciate the journey – be it in art – in your profession – or your personal life.

Today is the day.

The moment.

That matters.

Look around you.

Find the faces.

Appreciate what is. Not just what could be.

  • betsy craz

    I love this message about the journey of the artist. I’m reminded of a great quote from  Ricky Gervais about approaching his work without ambition…not sure if it’s verbatim, but it went something like this:, “If I can get something off my chest and render it exactly as I want it, then I’m bullet proof.”  

  • Lesley S. King

    Thank you, Dan. This is wonderful, and has proven completely true for me. Through success and failure, my only hope for joy is in the NOW.

  • I want to share this wisdom with my FB page readers. If we listen to the children in our lives, they show us the way!

  • Great post again, Dan. I’m passing this on to my peeps. Many are insurance salespeople, so the path is different but the journey is the same.
    My wife reminds me of this almost daily. Perhaps because I’m a man, I don’t multitask well. Very one track mind, and yes: The future payoff is often an easy excuse for not enjoying the moment.
    You’re so very right that the destination may be different… I would add that it’s ALWAYS different. Has been for me – in every possible way. Even that B & N listed my Nook version with the WRONG Brian Hicks in the author info! Never thought about that happening.
    I teach a principle in my workshops: “Wherever you are, be there.” Whether I’m in NYC, Des Moines or Portland, that principle resonates.
    Thanks, as always…

  • from Ram Dass: Be Here Now!

  • I’m reading this in a week when I really needed it. It’s easy to lose perspective at times. This really touched me. Thanks!

    • Thank you Nadine, so glad this helped.

  • Sydney Avey

    Thanks for the reminder Dan. Knowing where you’re going is important but you’re right: the adventure is on the path and the blessing is in the grace you experience in the difficulties and diversions.

  • Dianna Love

    Wonderful post, Dan.  I have found what you said to be very true.  Too many times, people focus on the end goal and not the journey of getting there.  What is even worse is when I see someone attain their “goal” only to be unhappy.  It’s important to acknowledge each success and not to discount reaching a goal when something “better” pops up.  BTW, I came here via Barbara Vey’s blog about yours today. She’s always mentioning you to writers.  

    • Thank you Dianna! And thanks (of course) to Barbara!

  • If I was receiving an income from the process of enjoying my journey I’d be all set! I love what I do! But I do have to eat and pay the bills. 

    • Dorothy,
      Well, the key is being clear about your goals and focus. I can tell you, I do what I LOVE to do for a living, and it took awhile to make the transition from my previous job to this company. But of course, that is the journey!

  • Barbara

    I absolutely loved this. I try really hard to live in the moment and enjoy the journey but at times need to be reminded.  This was an awesome reminder.  And being with my dogs, as you know, is my daily reminder too– just like your sweet little Owen.  Awesome post, Dan!  ~Barbara