Love the Journey, Not the Result

 

 

I’d like to share my modern twist on one of my favorite parables:

A rich man was told by one of his associates that one of the apartment complexes that he had just built had burned down in a fire.

The associate assured him that his workers and his son, who was working in the apartment at the time, had gotten out alive. The rich man looked unfazed.

“It’s great that your son escaped, but what bad luck that this fire would happen,” the associate said quietly.

We’ll see,” the rich man responded.

It turned out the rich man’s apartment complex was insured, and he was able to use the insurance money to purchase a much better lot and build much better apartments. He even oversaw the construction with his young son.

Unfortunately, this was decades ago and asbestos was used as insulation in the apartments. The rich man’s young son fell ill with a respiratory infection. He was in critical condition in the hospital

“What bad luck,” the rich man’s associate said. “Now your son is sick because of you building that apartment! He may be crippled for the rest of his life!”

We’ll see,” the rich man responded.

About this time, the Vietnam War started, and the draft came into effect. Luckily for the rich man’s son, his illness prevented him from being drafted. The associate was, at this point, stunned at this turn of events.

“What amazing luck, once again. It’s so lucky that your son was not drafted due to his illness!”, the associate marveled.

The rich man, once again, was unfazed.

“I don’t know. We’ll see.”

The young man recovered from his illness and grew into a businessman like his father. He was extremely outgoing and told everyone that he was going to be the president one day.

At this point, the associate was now older and more wizened in appearance. He bent over and said to the rich man, “Once again, fortune is on your side. Now your son, who we thought wouldn’t make it, can become the president.”

To the surprise of the associate, the rich man became furious when he said this.

“I give up! I didn’t want him as president as much as you, but he didn’t die in the fire, the asbestos, or the war! I’m all out of ideas!”

Takeaway

Jokes aside, I think this story reflects one of the most important lessons I learned on my path to improvement: love the journey, not the results.

We can only see the dots of our life connect when we look backwards. There is no way to know how an event will affect your life in the long run.

Many people dream of winning the lottery, but many of those that do have anything but happy endings. Some end up broke after a few years, and others destroy their personal lives and the lives of their friends and family.

Ever accomplish something and think: “That’s it? What now?”

The problem with having static goals is that reaching them often does not have the same effect on our lives that we envision when we create the goal. This leads to disillusionment, regret, and stagnation.

My goal is simple: to be better everyday.

It is a moving goal post that is not “achievable”, yet I can still see the benefit of my actions when I compare myself to the person I was yesterday.

Loving the process  has changed how I look at the world, and has helped me to be fully present in the moment while still working towards the future. 

One hope I have with this blog is that you learn to love the journey you are on. I want you to feel excitement when you start your day.

I want you to view challenges as a puzzle to be solved, rather than a mountain to be climbed.

I want hard work to feel like play to you.

I want you to love the grind.

 

Kaizen Principle:
Love the Journey

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