Sunday, March 4, 2018

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

1: “A good traveler leaves no tracks. Good speech lacks fault-finding.”
Lao Tzu
2: “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.”
Judith Thurman
3: “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. ”
Lin Yutang
4: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ernest Hemingway
5: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

Now that I'm in my mid-twenties, I feel like I've gained some good insight surrounding various facets of life. When I was younger I looked at many things in absolutes. All teachers had the answer no matter what the question. Having more friends was good. Nobody liked school and anyone who did was a "weirdo". Likewise, outcomes are all people care about. Nothing else matters.

Ernest Hemingway once said that "it is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end". At school I would always hear teachers say that the journey was more important than its destination. I understood that thought even as a child, but now I can wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.

Almost, if not all, aspects of life are relative. Teachers don't always have the answer. None of us do. Having more friends do not directly translate to greater happiness. Some people thoroughly enjoy school. There's nothing wrong with that.

The journey of life is mixed bag of success, regret, joy and sadness. But despite its random nature, a challenging journey can give our lives depth, meaning and satisfaction as long as we continue to hustle. Everything can be spun in a positive way, given we have the strength to do so. The journey teaches us the power of experiences both positive and negative. 

I remember studying for a particularly important exam while studying pharmacy. Failing this exam would result in my repeating the whole unit the following year. I was studying with a friend around that time and we would bounce encouragement off each other, supporting ourselves whenever we felt weak. I remember thinking, "even if I fail this exam, I won't have failed myself because I've formed a incredible friendship along the way".

Conversely, I can see the perspective where the destination is more valuable than the journey. It comes as no surprise that ultimately that's what employers, family and friends care about. No one can put a value on somebody's personal experiences. It has no weight to them because they were probably out of the picture completely. In that light, I think it's absolutely rational to put emphasis on results or outcomes.

The truth is, both are important. But if we can focus on the journey, we can also expect great results. I passed that exam in the end. Sure, I passed because I was able to answer questions correctly, but what helped me succeed was power of friendship, which is ultimately the most important thing I learnt.

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