No Matter the Cost
Some years ago, when I first became a serious student of personal development, it was the goal that counted. No matter the cost, no matter the obstacles encountered along the way, if the goal was ultimately reached, then success was achieved. In the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “So often we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to enjoy the journey.” No wonder many people have failed in their task, myself included, on many occasions.
What had been learned in the process
The tennis champion Arthur Ashe is quoted as saying “Success is a journey, not a destination. Not everyone can be number one.” Recently a piano pupil of mine entered a prestigious composing competition. The prize of some Bose headphones called, but ultimately it was the experience that counted. Firstly the knowledge that he’d been selected out of many entries to join some distinguished company: all the other finalists had studied at specialist establishments and received a good deal more hours of tuition than he had in music composition. Secondly, the chance to have his work performed by members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RNSO) at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, was an opportunity not many had the chance of experiencing. But most important of all was the excitement that the two of us – teacher and pupil – had felt as little by little, over many months, the opus magnum had come to fruition. Every time I hear a recording of the music, I am reminded of this. He didn’t win, but it didn’t matter, his success lay in the journey, and what had been learned in the process.
With hope comes belief
Several months ago, I posted a series of quotes on my facebook ‘Freedom-Writing’ group page. The first, by Roy T. Bennett, considered a ‘Thought Leader,’ says: “Life is about accepting challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savouring the journey.” Indeed, things will go wrong at times, or other matters have to be dealt with, such as happened to me over the past few weeks, but as long as we find ways to do a little towards our dreams, however small, a tiny step at a time, then we will feel hope. And with hope comes belief. During this time I managed to keep the candle burning, knowing how much I wanted my dream to come about: the publication of the series of novellas I am currently working on. Not once did the flame extinguish, even though at times it wavered in the heat of frustration.
The path still leads to where we want to go
Another quote I used, by Barbara Pask, an ‘Incite’ contributor, reads “First you need a definite vision of your desired outcome, and then fearlessly dive in and enjoy the journey.” Enjoyment, I believe can be derived from weathering challenges. After all, what writer hasn’t benefited from life experience? It is the knowledge that counts, the acceptance that the path will sometimes be steep or peppered with potholes, or even simply require a diversion from time to time. The point is, the path still leads to where we want to go.
One step at a time
A quote by Matt Serra stands out the most for me. “Keep your eye on the prize but enjoy the journey.” It means enjoying every minute of the creative process. New knowledge acquired in books and on websites, ideas shared with trusted sources interested and supportive of my work in progress, excitement as words tumble out onto the laptop screen when one is on a roll. If the writer doesn’t experience joy when writing, how can the reader enjoy the words? This goes for lots of things. To quote myself: “There are many ways in which we can be creative. Just remember to enjoy the journey, one step at a time.”