Today's post is written around an excerpt (paragraph below) from my upcoming, yet untitled, book. The manuscript is still a work in progress, but this idea is with me often because it's a regular struggle of mine. My name is Jason and I struggle with "When Then Syndrome". How about you?
I guess we all struggle to see the small victories for a variety of reasons. We don’t see healthy children as a victory because they are making messes and breaking stuff in our house. We don’t see our reliable car as a victory because it’s not one that turns heads. We don’t see our profitable business as a success because our profits didn't reach projections. We don’t see our personal health as a blessing because we don’t look good enough or we have some nagging aches and pains. Can I tell you something? You’ll never be as good or as strong or as rich or as famous as you want to be. We all suffer from “when then syndrome”. You know that condition. When I make “x” amount of money, then I’ll be happy. When my kids behave a certain way, then I’ll be happy. When I can land that new job, then I’ll be happy. When I have a bigger crowd at my church, then I’ll be happy. Truth is, it’s all a smokescreen. None of that will satisfy us because none of that is what was ever designed to bring satisfaction.
You know what brings the real satisfaction? It's the journey. Not the destination; the journey. Perry Noble made a great comment, recently, when he said, "One of the greatest dangers for leaders under 30 is to focus on their desire to be discovered rather than developed." Is this even exclusive to those under 30? I doubt it, but either way, can you relate? The development is the journey. But, somehow, we neglect to appreciate that part of life. We watch shows like American Idol and see kids whose hearts are broken because they didn't win. Win? That's one in a million. Actually, it's one in way more than a million. You know what else is one in a million? The journey of development and experience they got to go on just being on the show. Everyone's journey will look different, and though we all have a destination in mind, we'll never really reach it. Or at the very least, when we do reach it, our desire for the destination will change.
What victories are there in your life right now that you’re missing? What journey are you on that you can decide to embrace and enjoy instead of simply endure? The truth that most of us miss is that the journey, not the destination, is the reward.