“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”
– D. McCullough Jr.
If life was flat, monochromatic and dull, it is possible the journey would be easier, however there would be no enjoyment in overcoming challenges and no enthralling wonder looking at the world from above.
The goal is to enjoy not only the feeling of accomplishment or the view from the top, but to relish the challenge and the view all along the way. If your goal is to be a doctor you must not only enjoy the idea of having a successful practice, but must be compelled by a curiosity and wonder of the human body. If your goal is to be a runner you must not only enjoy the feeling of the race and the tape at the finish line, but must also enjoy the thousands of hours running alone without a crowd. If your goal is to be a writer you must enjoy not only the feeling of a published work in your hands, but also embrace the release that comes with organizing and creating a story on paper. If your goal is to be a scientist or academic, the love of learning, of understanding, and of finding more must far outweigh any desire for external motivations.
The love of the journey is critical not only for career but for the personal life, the relationships, the hobbies and dreams. As our society becomes goal oriented often the goal becomes the only end. However, for sustaining a pursuit of the goal, the journey itself, and the challenges therein, must be an end in and of themselves. Perhaps our goals should be processes not places, our most treasured rewards memories not money, and our trails seeking out the highest peaks, not to seek out greater accomplishments, but to see how our small path connects with a far greater world.