The Destination is Never a Place

When we finally reach the end of whatever path we’re on in life, there is one guarantee for all of us, regardless of race, religion or culture.

No matter the paths we took to get there, and the people travelled with or against to traverse these paths, we all meet the same end point.

Often, as the realization hits that this is the end, and the path runs out of areas to tread, we think back on what we’ve accomplished (or haven’t, depending on your point of view).

The problem with this is we leave ourselves no time to take the paths untravelled, or journey the adventure unfound.

Instead, we reach a destination that has no other direction. Or do we?

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. ~ Henry Miller

If we see the destination as a place, then our lives will be one big collection of untapped potentials.

Instead of the culmination of a life experienced to its fullest, we’ll have a book full of chapter-sized regrets.

Yet it doesn’t need to be this way.

Moments Are Finite

It’s often said that tragedy or major life events are the catalyst for the change we need to make in our lives (or make us realize time is finite).

My good friend Sam Fiorella wrote about this recently, in an extremely personal and raw post about the loss of his teenage son Lucas to depression.

In the post, Sam shares how the loss has changed the way he approaches life, and how the decisions he makes now are driven by those truly important to him, as opposed to those perceived important.

It’s a thought-provoking read, and one that every professional (and non-professional) should read.

Find Your Purpose Before Life Kicks You In The Teeth

In the year-plus since Lucas’s death, Sam has gone from chasing vanity recognition to doing work that truly does change lives – work I’m proud to be a part of.

As he shares in his post,

Being a great marketer does not preclude one from being a humble being. Great marketers don’t need to be self-serving or vain. Being a great marketer can be achieved by doing everything but thinking of oneself. It’s achieved by being focused on your community and your clients and by doing good work for each.

If you remove the word “marketer” and replace it with “success/successes”, and replace “client” with “peers”, it’s a mantra we can all adhere to.

Before the moment is gone and the finite catches up.

The Destination is Never a Place

To Henry Miller’s quote, looking for a “place” as the destination where we’ve finally “arrived” is missing the bigger picture.

For some, the place may be a bigger house. A bigger job with a bigger office. A bigger parking space at the exclusive golf club.

For others, the place may be a better car than the neighbour’s, or a trophy wife/husband to parade at the next corporate event.

But these places are simply material destinations.

Do they make us feel better? Perhaps in the short-term. But longer term, what do they actually mean?

Cars rust, houses crumble, jobs disappear, external beauty fades. So the journey begins again to scratch an itch that just won’t quit – because the journey to these destinations is always the same.

We need to change the destination.

For ourselves. For those around us. For those no longer with us. For those yet to be with us.

Our journey until now we can’t change. It’s done, for good or for worse. Decisions we made until now we may not be able to reverse.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t change their outcome. It all comes down to whether we want to, or not.

It’s time to choose your destination.

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