Photo by chmyphotography on Unsplash
Why the Journey is More Important Than the Outcome
Whenever I’ve made a pivot to do something new, it’s typically followed the same sequence: blissful ignorance followed by the fear that comes from realizing just how much you don’t know, followed by a decision: let the fear consume you and give up or keep going with a learning mindset.
I’ve done both.
However, I’ve felt that the older I’ve gotten, the harder it is to keep pushing forward because it feels like time isn’t on my side.
As I’m writing this, I’m 46 years old. I’ve been in the professional world since 1998.
That’s a long time – 24 years to be exact.
But then I think about everything I’ve learned during those 24 years. Some of that time felt wasted because I was “stuck” in a career path or company that I didn’t feel was conducive to my strengths or what I wanted to do. The problem was, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.
Still don’t really, but I’ve realized it’s the journey, not the outcome, that makes life so sweet.
I think of the people I’ve met along the way. The friendships that have formed. The growth that’s happened. The learning – both in hard ways and fun ways.
Each part of the journey has added to who I am today.
But, when I think of the next 24 years, I realize I’m probably smack-dab in the middle of my working life and my living life.
Time is precious. What is the actual outcome we’re seeking? What happens when we get there?
To me, the only outcome of my life is the end of it. Period.
I’ve always loved learning and never plan to stop. Why would I? There’s so much left out there to learn- much more than I’ll ever be able to take in.
Over the next quarter of my life, I get to make memories and experiences with my young children. I’m at the beginning of a career pivot. Which is scary, but so is being a parent.
The irony of this fear is that I expect the next quarter of my life to be the best yet.
A Sign You're Going in the Right Direction
In my opinion, if you don’t feel ‘uncomfortable’ or you feel comfortable with what you’re doing, you may be stagnant. That’s a dangerous place to be because the world is moving forward and change is happening every day. You’ll get left behind really quickly the minute you start to feel “comfortable.”
But, the main reason I started writing about this when I sat down at my computer this morning is that I’m in the middle of a career transition. Not just going from being a full-time employee, working for someone else to now working for myself, but moving into an area I would like to gain expertise in that is a bit foreign to me.
Well, it’s only foreign to me in terms of formal application and acknowledgment of what it is and my focus on it. I’m talking about moving into the operations side of marketing and sales.
The reality is that it has always pulled me in, no matter what my role or company has been. It’s something I’ve naturally gravitated towards, and now I’m acting on that natural proclivity.
The seeds have been sown over the past 24 years; now, it’s time to tend to and nurture them into flourishing plants.
I’m excited yet scared. But I know if I stay humble, patient and intentional, and don’t get discouraged by comparing myself to others who have been focused on this area for much longer, it will be a fun ride. The success – however you measure it – will follow.
Here’s to the next quarter.