It’s the Road, Not the Inn

In Don Quixote, Cervantes states, “it’s the road, not the inn”.  This short phrase is something that I have tried to – never mind remind myself consistently, but ingrain into how I live.

Have you ever achieved something incredible, something worth striving for?  I mean something really worth striving for: something you wanted so badly and sacrificed for and battled through adversity for and found away to accomplish it.  This could be an individual goal, a championship on a team you played for, getting that big promotion, just to name a few examples.

It was amazing, but you come to find soon after the feelings of euphoria, jubilation, pure happiness and pride in your accomplishment are fleeting.  You simply cannot hold onto that feeling.  Time slips on and it’s sad really, but accomplishment alone cannot sustain happiness.

I’m not in any way saying we as human beings shouldn’t set lofty goals and work tirelessly to get there.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m incredibly goal oriented.  What I am saying, however, is to avoid falling into the trap of believing that once you achieve a goal you’ll be happy.

It’s a trap almost everyone falls into.  Once I get that promotion I’ll be happy.  Once I just get done university and get a career I’ll be happy.   Once I get that house I’ll be happy.  It’s never-ending.  An old Haitian proverb says it best, “Beyond mountains there are mountains.”

No, being happy lies in fulfillment, not achievement.  It’s about understanding that happiness exists here on the road, in all the little ordinary, tedious moments.

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I stumbled across this photo the other day.  It’s now been six months since I moved back to Canada from Warrensburg after returning from UCM.  I’m not sure exactly when it was taken but at the time it was just another day, either before or after a workout in the indoor.  Upon reflection it becomes clear that moments like these were anything but tedious and ordinary.  Time will press incessantly on and this photo will move further into the past.

“It’s the road, not the inn.”

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