The hunt in life is better than the kill.
Two things tend to happen when you are chasing your life’s dreams. 1) You are so fixated on the goal that you forget to enjoy or learn from the journey. 2) You hit the goal and think to yourself “now what”?
I grew up in a rural area of Texas and we always had a farm cat. A cat that spent most, if not all, of its life outside. My cat’s name was Poncho and he split his time living both inside and out-mostly because he was huge and did what he wanted. He could also open the door by himself, so there was no stopping this cat. Poncho was glorious! We called him Poncho, because I am left handed and he was my personal pet and responsibility. (Get it? Poncho and Lefty?). I got him for my 11thbirthday and he lived to be 22 and probably could have lived longer had he not gone deaf and mostly blind.
We would watch Poncho chase mice, rats, birds, squirrels, rabbits and whatever else he felt to could get ahold of if he tried. He could kill a scorpion in a matter of seconds and before it came close to stinging him. This cat saved us from impending scorpion doom more times than I could count! When it came to things that could hurt him or us, he was efficient. When it came to catching rodents, he took his time. Poncho enjoyed the hunt and rarely killed the animals he toyed with. Often, the rodents he would hunt would pass out in the process. Poncho would open the door on his own, bring these animals into the house and present them to my mother. A thank you gift for mom! There were a few times where these animals would wake up and we’d spend the afternoon chasing a rat or rabbit around the house. Poncho was hilarious. He enjoyed the hunt, but was fed well enough that he didn’t concern himself too much with the kill. He caught them and thought “now what”? His usual answer was “Let’s give this to mom”!
The pursuit of the target should have more impact than hitting it. Goals are just goals, but the steps and process become the origin of the stories you retell. For my cat, he was honing his hunting skills and improving his odds for survival in case he ever had to feed himself or forgot how to open the door to the house.
When you were in high school, and trying to find a way to drink beer on a Friday night, you never retold the story of drinking it. You told the story of the hunt. Not the “capture” of the beer, but the journey of how you obtained it. The whole movie Superbad supports my theory. Watch it. Superbad is life!
The growth and education happens in the pursuit and the finale is just a way to end the story. It gives you punctuation and closure, but doesn’t compare to the journey. When we are all making that mad dash to the finish line, #Tryharder to understand that the process needs to happen. You need to experience the journey. You need to learn from the hunt. You hone your skills and talents from the hunt and not the conclusion. The next time life tosses you in a direction where you have to re-set your goals or target, make sure you embrace the personal growth that comes with it.