Every New Year I publish suggestions for being successful in the new year, some of them stay the same year after year and some change. It is important for all of us to stop and reflect from time to time (ideally more often than once a year) on where we are, where we are headed, and how we are going to get there. More importantly, we should think about whether our personal ambitions, as well as the visions of our organizations, are focused on creating a better world. Anything else is short-sighted and destructive.
I remember as a child when we went on cross country vacations in the car. We often drove across the USA to go to one destination or another. My mother was a music teacher and my sister and I grew up singing. When we were on those long road trips, we would sing the scores of every Broadway musical we knew as well as just about every other song we could think of. Everything was in 3-part harmony. Mom, my sister, and I would sing while dad filled the role of audience (he was one of the only people I have ever met who truly couldn’t sing).
Today, forty years later, I only have vague memories of our destinations. I don’t remember much of the about Disneyland or being seasick on the fishing boat in Oregon. But my memories of singing, laughing, talking, and sometimes fighting in the car on those trips are as vivid as if they happened yesterday. If you have ever heard someone say that the journey is more important than the destination, believe them. I suspect that the milestones in our lives, as important as they may seem at the moment, will fade with time, but the paths we took to reach those milestones stay with us forever. Enjoy the trip.