Is it more about the destination or the journey

chickenofthesea_bookcover I know setting goals and having a destination is important. If we didn’t we might just drift aimlessly through life with no sense of direction. And I’m not talking about taking a trip because sometimes it’s fun to just strike out and let the wind and our imagination take us wherever it will.

But sometimes we can become so focused on the destination or fulfilling our goals that we don’t enjoy the journey. I know through my own life experiences that our circumstances can change in an instant and all of the planning and goal setting that we have done won’t change it one iota. When it does we have to adjust and set new goals and directions.

The thing that is good about having direction and a set of goals is that they drastically increase our chances of reaching our potential and goals. I also believe that it is good to keep on persevering despite obstacles to achieve those things that are most important to us.

A case in point is with my new novel “The Nonconformist”. I  believe deeply that it would make a great movie and have been working to that end  for the past three years. I have even gotten as far as to have producers seriously consider it but as of yet it’s still not a done deal. While I am not yet about to give up on that goal/dream I have to accept the fact that no matter how hard I pursue that dream it might not happen.

As tough as that might be, I know the journey has been a good one and I need to treasure what I have accomplished.

I started writing my first book “Chicken of The Sea”, my personal story, in 2002 while still working in industry. I honestly never considered myself as a real author at the time but felt the story burning in me. The only reason I considered writing “The Nonconformist” was because my publisher said they weren’t interested in publishing something with an author who was only going to write one book.

Just in case they quizzed me on what other book(s) I was going to write I did an outline for the novel and basically outlined where it would start and where it would end. The more I thought about it though the more potential I thought it had so I started writing in earnest.

I wrote wherever and whenever I could. After getting deep into the novel I lost my job in industry. When I did all of our financial goals went out the window and I wondered where I would go next in life. Fortunately the answer was right in front of me. Losing my job allowed me to really pay attention to my novel, get back into painting and crafting, volunteering and surfing which were actually the things I loved doing the most and had wanted to do all along but didn’t have the time for while working.

Now, despite being financially challenged I find myself enjoying my journey a lot more than ever before. I honestly have no idea how I was able to write a 450 page novel and how my mind took me to the places it did. It honestly was a fun process and in that process I became a much better writer and storyteller.

During the process of trying to get “The Nonconformist” made into a movie, one of the potential producers encouraged me to write the screenplay version myself. To be honest, I had no idea as to how to go about writing a screenplay and was intimidated over how to turn a 450 page novel into a 100 minute screenplay.

Somehow once I opened my mind to the possibilities and dove into it I actually had fun, learned a lot about myself and think I did a pretty good job with it. By doing so I also came up with the idea for a follow up novel that I am almost finished writing the first draft of.

The truth is, if I had gotten so tied up with following my original path I would never have enjoyed my current journey and whether or not my movie ever gets made I know I’ve been successful and have had a fun journey.

From a surfing perspective I relate the experience to riding a wave. If someone sees a wave coming and decides what he or she wants to do on it in advance, they will most likely mess it up completely and not enjoy the ride or end up doing what they wanted to do on it in the first place. Each wave is different and I find it’s best to take what the wave gives you thus making the journey a lot more fun.

So I guess what I’m saying is don’t get so focused on your destination that you end up not enjoying your journey.

Aloha and thanks for dropping in. Paul

About authorpaulhayden

Author, artist, screenwriter, environmentalist. husband, father, surfer, surfing instructor, volunteer.
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