Life is a journey not a destination. Simple to say, not so simple to experience. I want to get somewhere. I want to know I have accomplished my goal. All that gets translated into destination, a finish, a goal line, a point in the future when I know I will have arrived at whatever I set out to find.
This poem, is a powerful reminder of the simplicity: enjoy the ride! Enjoy your journey! What will you experience as you set out? You do not know and you will not know if you are fixated on the destination. And the journey will be what you bring with you. Your choice determines experience — what you bring along with you in your soul.
Deep breath. Set sail. Let go! In joy!
by C. P. Cavafy
As you set out for Ithaca hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure and full of discovery.
Lastregonias and cyclops and angry Poseidon, don’t be afraid of them.
You’ll never find things like that on your way as you keep your thoughts raised high — as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit in your body.
Lastregonias and cyclops and wild Poseidon you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when with what joy you may come into the harbor seeing it for the first time.
You may stop at the Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things.
Mother of pearl and coral and amber and ebony and sensual perfume of every kind — as many sensual perfumes as you can find.
And may you visit many Eygptian cities to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaca always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better it last for years so you are old by the time you reach the island.
Wealthy with all you have gained on the way.
Not expecting Ithaca to make you rich.
Ithaca gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you may not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca won’t have fooled you, wise as you will have become.
So full of experience you will have understood by then what these Ithacas mean.