It's not about the destination; it's about the journey.
We flew into London last night. Our family has a very unpleasantly eventful trip every time we fly. But this trip? Painless. The car came to pick us up, arriving early. The drive to the airport was simple. We got through check-in and security with ease. We had breakfast at the airport, and we boarded the plane. Six-to-seven hours later, after a relatively pleasant flight, we landed at Heathrow. All went well.
The shuttle bus to the car rental place wouldn't come. I won't bore you with the details, but this resulted in us sleeping at an airport hotel, instead of driving to our destination, eating mediocre fried food on the floor with our starving children at midnight, and spending half our mortgage on a taxi (slight exaggeration.)
Before the drama developed, when we were still crouched on the ground, waiting for the shuttle bus, I got very tense, and hyper-aware of our situation. When would it come? When? Where was it? Would it ever come? I just want to get there. I just want to get there.
And then it hit me: I'm just trying to get there. But where? The Inn in my father's little village? Our trip to Oxford on Friday? Our trip to Wales on Sunday? Our flight back home? My kids' first day of school in a few weeks? Their weddings? The birth of their children? Where am I trying to get?
As long as I'm focusing on the destination, I am missing the journey.
While I was so desperately trying to move on from the platform at Heathrow Airport arrivals, I was missing my kids having fun on the luggage cart. I was missing my daughter stealing the bag of Goldfish crackers. I was missing my husband being surprisingly adorable, considering how tired he was.
Why do I want a successful career? Why do we want anything? So we can be happy. So what's the point of being happy later, if I'm miserable sitting waiting for a shuttle?
Whether you're a writer, an actor, or a candlestick-maker, enjoy the journey of pursuing your goals. If all you strive for is the destination, you'll never arrive. It's like trying to reach tomorrow: you'll never get there.