The Journey is the Reward

In 2008, I rode my bicycle from Seattle to Boston with four friends from college. For seven weeks, we rode an average of 80 miles a day. It was a lot of fun, but everything was predicated on a goal: complete the ride.

When I finally dipped my front wheel in the Atlantic, I felt an overwhelming loss of purpose. The goal that had shaped nearly every action for the last two months was suddenly satisfied, and I didn’t know what to do in its absence. I’d also naively assumed that the trip’s completion would mark some sort of profound arrival. It didn’t.

Somewhere my mother’s spirit shouted through the aether: the journey is the reward!

I try to keep the journey mindset, especially at work. Organizations need goals to measure their efforts, and it’s remarkable what we can accomplish when we set out with a goal in mind. But goals can also be limiting, and while there are plenty of false peaks, there are few true arrivals in business.

Let the goal be your yardstick, but don’t make it your organizing principle. Find joy in the grind and the results will come to you.


[ August 2017 ]