I can remember walking across the stage for my college graduation with vivid recollection. It was a moment that I had worked extremely hard for, but seemed astonishingly fleeting. A time so anticipated, the days couldn’t go by fast enough so this “item” could be checked off my list. And that’s exactly how I treated it: an item to be scratched off in pen on a sheet of paper when completed.
Looking back, it’s funny that I miss the days of being so broke that I had no choice but to eat ramen noodles for weeks. Where the occasional all-nighter was an annoyance and going to class took up too much of my time. I just wanted it all to be over with so that I could graduate, start making money and move on to bigger and better things — whatever that might be.
That is where my perspective was flawed. When I thought about making money, I didn’t take into account the long, monotonous weeks of being glued to a desk staring at a computer screen. I didn’t think about paying bills and having to burden so much financial responsibility. The “bigger and better things” have turned into looking forward to weekends with no plans so that the only decision that has to be made is whether or not to put on pants. If I have to think about it, then the answer is no pants.
I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy my days in college — I did and can reflect on fond memories. But I also feel like I focused too much on the end result without fully appreciating the awesome experience that was my four years at university.
If we’re not careful, we’ll end up doing this with our entire lives. Constantly checking things off our list and then immediately on to the next item without enjoying the process along the way.
If you truly want something, you’ll reach your destination. Just don’t be so focused on where you’re going that you forget to enjoy how you’re getting there.