Why Is It About The Journey, Not The Destination?

You hear that “life’s about enjoying little things”.

Another variation of that is that you should be grateful for the little things. Or, maybe a better comparison, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

In other words, the little things that add up to the final result are more important than the result.

One big question: why?

Do we just listen to advice because they sound cool and wise, as if an ancient Greek philosopher put them out? Usually we don’t look for answers as we like tweets as maxims. 280 characters that sound like a mantra — something we can repeat to ourselves so that we can make better decisions.

Like look, take for example what I dived into the other day: if we should do things that are unscalable for our scalable SaaS, which unscalable things should we go for?

You might want to poke at least a little bit at the idea of “Doing unscalable things” — really now, why do that?

Here’s my answer

It’s about starting a positive feedback loop. It’s why a lot of people lose when they aim for creating the next Uber and they crash into the ground 2 days/months/years later.

You need some day to day fuel. And that day to day fuel is what people commonly refer to as passion.

But let’s do something else with this article.

Let’s not put the answer behind such a heavy word as “passion”.

Passion means that you really like what you’re doing, but it’s the implication that matters. And the implication is that you have micro-wins every day.

That’s what I mean about positive feedback loops.

You smile at someone on the street — and if they smile back, you’ll be a bit different. You’ll walk with your hands in a more loosely manner, stand a bit more straight and maybe, just maybe, you’ll smile at someone one more time.

And that second person smiles back.

That’s a positive feedback loop. Next thing you do is maybe a decision that changes the course of your company for good. And 12 years down the line, when the IPO happens, the sale/exit or whatever your goal is — maybe it all started with that decision of smiling at someone.

Yes, we can go into scenarios. What if the first person didn’t smile back and then here you are on a negative feedback loop on the brink of depression. But that’s not the point.

The point is this: micro-wins every day.

That’s what “the little things” mean. They’re codified. Even “micro-win” is codified, because you somehow have to understand it beyond word level to truly be able to implement it.

When you work on a product that you like or need yourself, you’re anyways winning. Whether it sells for billions or not.

That’s a micro-win — which gives you statistically higher chances to succeed.

So please do that.

Please think about it like a streak. Keeping your wins in sequence. But…

One caveat

I’ve seen a consequence of this, which is paying close attention towards “keeping it perfect”. You know, that person you may have seen who acts like everything is perfect at all times.

We all know that person has moments when she can’t keep up with this mask — so it’s not feasible.

Lose sometimes, it’s okay. It will be served upon you. But when you want to get back, don’t aim at the moon.

Aim at creating one slab for yourself. Then another one. Next thing you know, you’ve created a staircase for yourself towards the moon.

And that’s how you reach the high aim. Step by step, the so-called “journey” or “the small things in life”.

Back to the comparison with Paul Graham’s unscalable things? The point of what he’s saying is that you’re doing “grunt work”.

Why? So that these small micro-wins will fuel you in order to create a healthy machine that will work at 100 or 1,000,000,000 users.

Now go take your micro-win. Start with yourself and see where that takes you.

About Ch Daniel

I’ve updated this signature in July 2020, so older mentions of the signature might not make sense.

I currently don’t write on this blog anymore. I wrote daily for 9 months on this very blog, but now I’m focused on building the CH Group.

If you want to follow my newer articles, check out the CH Group’s blog.

See everything I do here: Chdaniel.com

Ch Daniel's signature

Illustration credits: BluBlu

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