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Which is It?

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Which is It?

Paul Rechnitzer asks if it's truly the journey or the destination?

What is most important, the journey or the destination? Among other things interesting about the subject is that it can be analyzed to death (in a manner of speaking). Those who are in the sermon business think that the journey is the most important aspect of life. One thing is certain, the subject is worthy of constant consideration.

On the other hand, those who are goal-oriented consider the journey simply as the means to an end. You are not going to reach your destination any other way. As often is the case there are a number of ways to view that subject. Just like a yard stick it has both a beginning and an end and the space in between.

As in most things we could belabor what constitutes beginning. Conception, birth, graduating from high school, finding that right partner, etc. The end comes in many other forms like retiring, buying an RV, becoming a member of AARP, selling the home place, joining a bowling league, taking up golf, Medicare or the assisted living home. The space in between when most of these moments occur is the journey.

What prompted these thoughts was that one of our problems today (opinion only) is that many people arrive at their destination or goal way too early in life. If the journey is really only a means to an end, why should the end not be truly the end?

This argument assumes there are people who have a goal in life of some sort. I never did but that is another story. For those whose ambition peters out after they finally acquired a mortgage for the house, that is one thing. If you bought the Ivy League thinking where you divide life into five year segments with intermediate goals, life can be either a joy or one struggle after another.

It would appear that to many, a few possessions equate with success. Buying a boat, owning two personal water craft or whatever they are called, his and her chain saws or a club membership is certainly worthwhile if they appeal to you but that is not the point at which you start coasting or put the bucket down. 

“When I retire” is a form of quicksand. One friend of mine referred to the retirement of her husband as “50 percent pay and 100 percent husband.” While the pay part is understandable the sand trap looms when the thinking that generated the days of 100 percent pay ends. While not a bowler, there is one aspect of bowling —or golf for that matter—that is similar to life. They are loaded with scoring opportunities , each being a little goal in itself.

The importance of the destination idea is that it represents achievement and hopefully a measure of success. It is all those little goals that  add up to a measure of satisfaction that may never have been achieved when “working for the man.” Of course, all this add up to the story of each journey through life. 

So which is it? I would like to think it is neither one nor the other. Life should be an ongoing series of little goals. Maybe you would like the word objective better. It was the military who used the term “mission.” Maybe we all need some sort of mission statement so that there really isn’t more than one inevitable day, but many days, when “well done,” “good job,” or “congratulations” are in order. Success breeds success and rarely does depression find a home in the mind of someone who has just done better than before.

No matter what your circumstance, this is something you can do without the need for any outside stimulation.  No one else can do it for you, nor can anyone else deny you the opportunity. 

So which is it?

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Author info

Paul Rechnitzer Paul Rechnitzer Transplanted 30 years ago, Paul is a retiree from the oil business who knows no other place he would rather live and breathe local history.

Tagged as:

retirement, Say What?, life, goals

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