Over the holiday I spoke with a man who is enrolled in a master’s program and he told me that it will be five and a half years until he graduates. “You do it to learn, not to finish,” he explained.
We’ve all heard the expression, “It’s all about the journey, not the destination.” Some of us even live our lives based on it. But how do we reconcile smelling the roses with plowing the north forty so there’s a harvest next year and food on our table? Looking around, exploring side streets off the beaten path can still get you to your goal but probably not on schedule. When our livelihood is on the line how can we possibly allow ourselves to risk missing a deadline? And yet, if no one ever did take such chances, invention and innovation would not exist. In a race to the finish line, eyes straight ahead finds you on the podium far more often than creativity, right?
I admired this man’s attitude about the next 66 months and didn’t doubt for a minute that he’d be in a cap and gown in June of 2024. I did wonder, though, if his approach was the first lesson he had had to learn in this phase of his education or was it his personality to take this approach in all areas of his life? If naturally predisposed to this method of living, did that mean he never completed things on time? This question shows you my inherent lean towards being a Destiner and not a Journeyman, but I work hard (as Destiners do) to be more the latter. The diploma of the young man I met at a Christmas party will be dusty on the wall before I master this lesson. But I’m so glad that for a few moments one December evening, our journeys found us at the same destination.