The summer vacation season is beginning to really start up. Perhaps some of you have already been on vacation, while many of you anticipate taking some time away from home over the next several weeks. It’s a natural part of human nature to focus on the end point of our activities. Think back to childhood, or now if you have children, how their mind works when you go some place with the family. The common refrain, particularly if the trip is quite a distance is “Are we there, yet?” And, while parents will often get annoyed and may actually tell the children “to grow up” and enjoy what is going on around them until they get to the destination, the parents are not often much different when it comes to the journeys and destinations that come up in their own life.

What do I mean by this? Often we have goals for ourselves. Having goals is great. Having a plan to achieve the goals is also a terrific thing to have. However, depending on the goal, it may not be easily achievable. Sometimes it may take several steps to reach the goal. Other times unforeseen obstacles occur that may cause a reevaluation of the plan. Yet so often there are many that measure the success of the outcome of their endeavors by how quickly they achieve their goals, and consider anything short of that achievement a failure. They never give themselves an opportunity to enjoy the journey.

The journey is the place where we learn. It’s the place where we often may gain necessary experience that makes us more productive when we reach the destination. Often time the journey is where we put in the heavy preparation that allows us to function at our best when we reach the destination. To not appreciate the journey is actually shortchanging us a valuable part of the experience of reaching the destination.

Recently my wife and I visited her niece who is working as an intern in an art gallery. We received a tour of the gallery and got to see the work that this young woman put into an exhibition that was displayed in the main hall of the gallery. My wife commented to me how impressed she was with how well the exhibit was laid out, the choice of artwork that was chosen and how it matched and was mounted with each other. It is obvious her niece has a real talent for the work she is doing.

The current gallery position is an unpaid internship. There are those who would judge what was being done from the perspective that the position was not of great value, because it did not have compensation attached to it. However, my wife and I chose to look at it differently. We realized the experience being gained was going to be beneficial in the obtaining of a future paid position. In addition, the contacts being made at the gallery from various functions also had the likelihood of being invaluable. And, even while a paid position may seem like the goal, it too may only be a step on the journey to this young woman’s ultimate destination in her career.

That’s also one of the other things about destinations. They are not always what you thought they might be when you get there. Ever have that happen on a vacation trip. You plan and plan, get to the location you have desired to go, and its reality does not meet with your expectations? This sometimes even happens when you return to a destination you have been to before, and in some way or another it has changed in terms of your memory of it.

It is great to have destinations in your life. However, much like the vacation trip, they ultimately come to an end. Sometimes that end comes quickly. Other times you may be at the destination a long time, and then suddenly it is gone, (think a long term position that you may have held during your career). The journeys though will be with you always. They are waiting for you when you decide to move to a new destination. Sometimes they may emerge in the form of new projects and tasks even when you believe you have reached your destination. However, the key is to take the opportunity to enjoy the steps of the journey, learn from them and allow them to prepare you to have the best experience you can when you reach one of your destinations. Those that fail to enjoy the journey can often use up so much of their energy that they fail to appreciate the destination when they get there. In that is the ultimate irony.

Author's Bio: 

Tony Calabrese of Absolute Transitions provides suggestions, approaches and information on how you can find a new job, move up to a new position, or change your career. To get his free report, "Overcoming Obstacles to Change Your Life" visit