It has been said that the journey is more important than the destination. When I consider this journey in life that I am on, I do not know if I will ever make it to where I want to go. I don’t know if it will be successful. But as I travel the path, I realize that I am evolving. I can barely recognize the person that I was when I first started out. I am not even the same person I was yesterday. I am a new iteration every day. A new layer. Added texture. None of it would be possible if I had never taken the first step. The action of going was the catalyst, and I am the by-product of walking this path.
Some would scoff at the ancient writings. They would say it is no longer relevant or invalid because it was based on a different belief system. But there is wisdom here that should not be ignored. The world today believes they are entitled to the fruit without the action. They believe the shortcuts and the hacks are the keys to winning. But in the end, this only creates a superficial gloss void of the texture-rich and carefully curated character that truly makes a person beautiful. To become beautiful while inhabiting a body that is in the process of dying, then you must perform the action every day. You must walk your path even if you never make it to the destination.
When I was younger, I thought the shortcut was the way. In High School, I loved reading Muscle and Fitness. From the pages of those magazines, I was drawn to the one magic exercise for accelerated growth. I was intrigued by the miraculous supplement guaranteeing a 300% increase in fat loss. There was some real substance in those editions, but it was the fluff that captured my attention.
What I learned (eventually) was that taking the magic and the miraculous never worked for me. There was only one way to get stronger and leaner. I had the do the work. And the work was not a shortcut, it was an incremental daily improvement mixed with the right nutrition.
The lure of quick success was not limited only to the fitness magazines. I was also intrigued by the infomercials promising a way to get rich quick. They were most appealing when I was in between jobs or at a job I didn’t prefer. I am glad I never broke down and paid for the $1000 secrets that would guarantee me millions, but the temptation was there. But what if I missed out on the golden opportunities? I’m fine with that. If I were in my twenties with millions to burn, there is a good chance I would not have become the man I am today.
We must remember that it is a long process to get where we want to be in life. It is a journey that we may never finish. But we must not be in a hurry to get through it. It is a process that makes us better individuals. By rushing through it, we miss the opportunity to add depth, quality, and texture to our personal evolutions. C.S. Lewis said it wasn’t the load that breaks us down, it is the way we carry it. Likewise, it is not the destination that matters, but who we become along the way. No shortcuts to any place worth going. Those words from Beverly Sills hit the mark. Take the long way. You won’t regret it.