Oct 112014

Last summer I went on vacation with a group of friends. We took a plane to Dublin, got ourselves transported a hundred-something kilometers south and then over the span of a few days we walked back.

200.000 paces, that way. Enjoy!

200.000 paces, that way. Enjoy!

At the end of each day everybody was very glad to be off of their feet. Gently rolling hills can be quite unforgiving if you have to traverse them by foot. And every evening we were very glad to be there. To have reached the goal!

But, then what?

Sure, there is the sense of victory (and the enjoyment of putting your feet up), but trust me, the moment is fleeting. So you go for the next goal? The next hostel the following day – the next vacation next year?

Yes of course that is what you do. A new dot on the horizon, preferably slightly more difficult and challenging than the previous one; slightly less rolling hills, maybe add another day of hiking. The next (big) thing! To reach another goal!

For a vacation it should be clear that this is not what it’s about. Taking one step at a time, taking in the surroundings, the conversation or the solitude. Being there, seeing, feeling, enjoying.

It’s not about the goal. It’s about the path.

I write because I enjoy writing. I play saxophone because I enjoy playing saxophone. The fact that at some point I might have a blog post (or a book?!), or that I will have become a “good” saxophone player are nice and perhaps even important. But in the end they are secondary.

As far as I know nobody ever found the goal of life (if someone did, please let me know!) So here there really is nothing better to do than to enjoy the ride!
Don’t get me wrong, a goal can be extremely helpful. It’s good to have something to aim for so that you can break up the task in its smaller components; to get to Dublin, you have to put one foot in front of the other and you have to do that give-or-take 200,000 times. But if you don’t like putting one foot in front of the other, don’t make it your goal to walk to Dublin!

Goals are endless. You can always have bigger or better or faster. There is always something else (more!) to do.

But remember: 99(.9999)% of the time you’re working on getting there and not on being there. Make sure you enjoy the trip!

Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!