“Let your joy be in the journey, not in some distant goal.” Tim Cook
A little after 7:00am, our team of three arrives at the dock for our planned short fishing expedition. Inside the boat that is now tied to the dock is Blaise, our co-captain, who is already casting a plastic lure with an inshore spinning outfit. A light fog on the water hides the Dog River Marina that lies a couple of miles to our east. A bridge next to the marina marks the entrance from Mobile Bay to Dog River, our fishing grounds for today’s trip. We decide to fish the waters close to the dock first before traveling east towards the Marina and Dog River Bridge, locations that have produced fish on past outings.
No bites. Not even one. Recent rain that has mixed a lot of fresh water into the brackish watershed is not a good formula for speckled trout, the species we have targeted today. With no success, we finally decide to move towards the Dog River Bridge to see if we can find fish. But, too late. The fog that was light has now become thick. Our safe speed is only a couple miles per hour. At that rate, it will take us 30 or more minutes to get to the other fishing hole, normally, a couple of minutes ride on days with full visibility. My previously arranged commitment that has limited our time on the water puts a halt to our trip to the bridge. We continue fishing where we have caught nothing.
At 10:00am as was planned, we arrive back on the dock, where we originally started our now fishless trip. Fifteen minutes later, before I can drop my out-of-town visiting friends off at their hotel, the phone rings. It is Blaise. I put him on speaker phone so that my friends can hear the conversation. “I just caught three nice specks.” I immediately holler back in my playful irritating voice, “Blaise, you had to call us less than 10 minutes since we left the dock to tell us you are catching fish?” Of course, he had to. Friendly guys’ competition demands it. Success after we had abandoned the trip. What fishing person with any integrity would not be openly bragging? Apparently, the fog had lifted enough for Blaise to get to the area we had wanted to fish. He is fishing and catching and we are in my vehicle. Any questions?
Later on, to add more fuel to the fire, Blaise sends me a photo text showing seven speckled trout in the live well. Four more fish than the earlier report. Blaise is really enjoying his success. Hearing about it is no longer good enough. I have to see it.
We almost stayed long enough to join in the fun of catching. Almost, but not quite. It is next day and the fishing that I missed was unavoidable, because of an earlier commitment that I had to honor. But, it did remind me of a phrase I have heard a number of times in my life.
“Success is just around the corner.” Have you ever heard this saying? The words may be different, but it is an expression sometimes used as hope. Someone, in the middle of their project, perhaps a new business venture, is still not willing to claim success. There may exist a challenge that has not yet been conquered. Perhaps, the expectation of the current moment is a huge gap from what is actually true.
Unfortunately, sometimes the expression is used as an excuse for a failed project. ‘Just around the corner’ sounds better than, this project is a complete failure. A way to avoid humiliation. The last thing we may want to tell someone is that the enthusiasm and confidence I shared last month was all in vain, or worse, was untrue.
How might you use this phrase? How have others in your life used it? Is there any goal you wanted to accomplish that was retired because it was always just around the corner from achievement? Common around the corner goals that are often abandoned include:
New Year Resolution
Learn a new language
Heal a relationship
Fix up my house
Go on special vacation
What would you add to this list? Do you have one that has been around for five, maybe 10 years? Maybe, sadly, one that has been forever in your life.
Success is a journey and more than a certain destination point we may find in the future (just around the corner). Success should not just be one single moment or a final resting place. Even successful people agree that being in neutral, staying at one place, is not a recipe for permanent success. Life continues to change and progress is necessary even to maintain some of what we have gained.
It’s good to have a success goal that is in the future. Around the corner, so to speak. But the best success philosophy is based on the journey. The lyrics of the song, “The Climb,” remind us about the importance of the journey and the challenges we often face along the way.
I can almost see it
That dream I’m dreaming but
There’s a voice inside my head saying
You’ll never reach it,
Every step I’m taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high
The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down but
No I’m not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m going to remember most yeah
Just got to keep going
I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, cause
There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb
In this song, I absolutely love and personally embrace the words, “But these are the moments that I’m going to remember most.” I remember often and with great joy the journey of my life. The moment of victory is nice, but the journey and never giving up I find even more special. Believing when it is hard to believe. Keep going when it always seems like the destination is around the corner. I have come to believe that the most powerful and important definition of success is. . .
Success is a journey.
I pull up the text photo on my phone and am reminded of Blaise’s success. Way to go Blaise. Doggone it! I will fix this. I will be out on the water today and there are no other commitments. Well, only one other. I will stay until I catch a few specks. And all the moments until the rod bends with one on the other end will be my success journey today. I am going to enjoy all of the moments.
Today, success is a journey.