Throughout my career I have often used quotes, anecdotes, and analogies to crystalize certain points for specific reasons.
Whether it was my time at Microsoft or my latest stint at home improvement network Porch.com, I have always looked for supporting points to help articulate, color in and provide context for the goals we aim to hit and the principles we live by.
The best ones are those that are simple, direct and to the point, because there is less risk of misinterpretation.
If you are going to motivate the masses with a quote, you need to land something everyone can believe in with a high degree of confidence.
Over the last year there is one quote I have found myself using more often with more people: “The journey is the reward.”
What makes the statement true? Here are three reasons why.
Related: 5 Steps to Achieving Any Goal
1. The journey is unexpected
When you set out to reach a goal you have a sense of what you want the reward to be. Perhaps you want your business to be acquired, you want to go public or you want to land a very senior position at a Fortune 500 company. Whatever the goal, you become dead set on dedicating your life to the pursuit and have a clear vision for what you want to achieve when you get to the end of your journey. And while you may think this destination is the top prize, the reward is also in how you got there.
The payoffs during the journey may seem smaller, but they multiply over time. If you are making progress towards your reward the chances are you are winning and achieving something every day. These moments and results may happen at spontaneous moments in time: You never know what tomorrow holds. If it gives you something to feel great about, don’t underestimate that win. Embrace it and enjoy it, because you never know when the next one will come.
2. The journey is memorable.
Even if you achieve your goal and obtain your reward, chances are you will remember the moments that got you there more than you will remember the actual reward itself -- especially if you are working with a great set of teammates. The memories you make really are the reward. The time you moved into your first office. The first hire, customer and sale; the late nights, the early mornings, the road trips, the wins and losses. The journey provides you with the Kodak moments that will endure and stand the test of time.
3. The journey is guaranteed.
When you start a business or set out to build your career, it pays to focus on a big goal. You need your North Star. You need to think about the end game, so you can create something tangible to make your vision a reality. But no matter how well you plan and execute, nothing is guaranteed. Success and the reward you working towards may never happen.
But the journey itself and what you will get out of it IS guaranteed. Everyday you have a chance to get better, to learn something new, to meet new people, to solve problems in different ways. In a world where nothing is guaranteed, living in and appreciating the present can sometimes be the greatest reward of all.