“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome”. - Arthur Ashe
We must live and relish the PRESENT MOMENT, without being distracted by the past or the future.
As a matter of fact, the NOW is the only moment we have power on.
We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it, we cannot foresee the future, but we can do our best today to make it as good as possible.
Having said that, success is not a final destination, so don’t be in a hurry to achieve it, enjoy the journey; but at the same time do not rest on your laurels.
There is never a finish line, once we achieve something, another goal takes over from the previous one.
That’s why the journey is the real treasure and that’s why we cannot afford to be too obsessed by what we are trying to achieve, otherwise, we inevitably end up missing out on living in the present moment, the journey itself, and all the beauties life gives us.
The future is going to be another present moment, so why not start seizing the present now?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that planning the future and setting SMART GOALS is wrong.
What I am saying is that we must make the most of today, of what we have now, and enjoy the present while striving each day to become a better version of ourselves.
Being obsessed with what we want to achieve to the extent that we fail to seize the present, and forget our WHY, i.e. the main reason that drove us to start pursuing our goals is the worst mistake we can ever make.
To make this point as clear as possible I am going to use an inspirational story that I’ve read in the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.
A YOUNG MAN LOOKING FOR WISDOM
The story goes more or less like this:
Once upon a time, a young man determined to find out what being successful truly meant, decided to embark on a journey to meet who was considered the wisest man on earth, a master at living a successful and happy life.
After walking many days, he finally arrived at the doorstep of the beautiful palace the man he was looking for lived in.
The young guy was amazed to see how many people were waiting to speak to the master.
Hours went by and finally, the young man was summoned to speak to the sage.
After listening to the reason why the young man had traveled so far to speak to him, the wise man said: “Unfortunately, young boy, I cannot reveal what living a successful and happy life is all about; you will find out by yourself if you visit my palace”.
The wise man carried on: “But, I can give you permission to visit my palace and see all the beauties it contains on one condition”.
“Yes, I am ready to do anything to learn how to be happy and successful”, the impatient young man replied.
“Good, take this spoon with you and place this boiled egg into it and when you stroll around my palace make sure you do not drop the egg”, the master told the guy.
The young man, despite being surprised by the weird favor he was asked for, started walking around, moving from one room to another, climbing a flight of stairs after another, always keeping his eyes on the spoon lest he dropped it.
One hour went by and he got back to the master, who asked the boy: “How did you like my palace? What do you think about the tapestries hanging in the Dining Hall? What about the garden and the pond that took the master gardener ten years to complete and what about my library, the biggest in the world”?
The young man was mortified to confess he had not noticed any of those things,“ I do apologize, I was thoroughly focused on the spoon to avoid dropping the egg that I missed everything”.
“Then, have another walk and look at all the beauties I have just told you my palace contains and come back when you have finished so that you can tell me what you think about this place”, the master suggested.
Feeling relieved, the boy picked up the spoon with the egg in it and started exploring the palace again.
This time, he looked carefully at the portraits and tapestries in the Dining Hall, he admired the immense library and the wonderful garden.
He enjoyed the smell of the flowers and the singing of the birds, actually, he enjoyed every single moment of his tour around the palace.
Upon rejoining the wise man the young guy reported in minute detail everything he had seen.
“Well done, but where is the egg I gave you?”, the master asked.
The young man looked at the spoon he was holding and realized he had dropped the egg.
“I hope you have found the answer you were looking for”, the sage exclaimed.
And then went on: “You see, my dear, it’s that simple, living a happy and successful life comes down to seeing all the beauties in the world around you, without forgetting the egg in the spoon”.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
This story teaches us an important lesson, i.e. having a balanced lifestyle is pivotal to experience success and happiness.
I have already written it above, but I will stress once more: being obsessed with what we want to achieve (looking after the egg in the story) to the extent that we fail to seize the present (the beauties in the palace), and forget our WHY, i.e. the main reason that drove us to start pursuing our goals, is the worst mistake we can ever make.
You see, most people set the goal to improve their financial standing, to achieve more freedom, have more time to spend with their loved ones, and ultimately have the chance to do whatever they want when they want with who they want.
I am one of them, and I have to admit that I have made a terrible mistake: I was so obsessed with achieving financial security that I missed out on spending valuable time with my family and friends.
I spent all my time building my business, which took me away from the main reason WHY I started my journey as a digital entrepreneur, i.e. the chance to do whatever I want, when I want, with who I want.
Luckily I realized it before jeopardizing my relationships, and I changed my course of action.
So now I am still building my business to achieve FUTURE financial independence, but I bear in mind WHY I am doing it (the chance to do what I want, when I want, with who I want), so I stop myself from getting too obsessed with my goal and missing out on the PRESENT as a result.
I hope you will do the same in pursuing your goals.
After all, having goals and pursuing them is a SUCCESS in itself.
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it”. - Greg Anderson