Is it possible to be too goal-oriented?


I remember years ago there was a song by Christian singer-songwriter Michael Card – I don’t remember much about it apart from one line in particular (maybe the title?) which went ‘there is a joy in the journey…’

It’s all about enjoying the process. The getting there.  I really believe that if we’re constantly fixated on arriving ‘somewhere’, we miss so much along the way. I’ve heard people say that they were so determined to press on to do something with their lives that they forgot to actually just – enjoy – their lives. If you are pushing forward and yearning for the next stage, that next signpost in your career, you will feel driven, and something will be lacking in your life. You.

As writers we don’t always take the time to savour the writing process and enjoy, even live the experience. We’re reaching towards the next deadline and don’t remember to sit back and enjoy the trip.

I can remember when I was a kid, the journey to the holiday destination was as exciting and as full of surprises, promise and possibilities, as the holiday itself. As soon as everything was packed into the car or onto the luggage rack in the train or plane, there was that wonderful sense of anticipation, that feeling of ‘we’re off – this is the beginning of it all’.

Don’t wait until you arrive to start enjoying yourself, otherwise you will never actually be happy right where you are – you will always be looking forward to the Next Thing.

So sit back, take a moment and think to yourself, ‘yes, this is where I am, chapter 17 (or wherever) – this is the journey – and I’m feeling good.’ (Put on Nina Simone at this point).

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