“You can’t, in most things, get what you want if you want it too desperately: anyway, you can’t get the best out of it. ‘Now! Let’s have a real good talk’ reduces everyone to silence. ‘I must get a good sleep tonight’ ushers in hours of wakefulness. Delicious drinks are wasted on a really ravenous thirst.” Although in this passage from A Grief Observed C.S. Lewis is referring to his frantic need for God upon the death of his wife, I've seen this truth played out in many circumstances in my own life over the years.
Take writing for instance. I write because I love it - the exhilaration of putting words down on the page, of finding the precise words to build the particular sentences that create the exact story that’s been growing inside of me, and then releasing those stories out into the world where they are read. There’s no doubt about it, as writers, having our work published, attaining that connection with readers, is a desirable part of the process. It’s when we want publication too desperately that we can lose perspective and forget that publication is only a part of the process. If we fixate only on that one aspect, then we become “like the drowning man who can’t be helped because he clutches and grabs.” - C.S. Lewis
It's one of those perspective things that I have to relearn every so often: a can't see the forest through the trees thing that reminds me not to lose sight of the big picture.
And maybe, like so many other things in life, it’s in the letting go that we are finally able to find what we are looking for.
Do you ever let the goal overshadow the process?