Picture this: You have traveled for months to reach the Northern-most mountain of a distant country. A hermit on top of this mountain holds the answer to an Important Question that burns inside of you. At least, it used to burn inside of you.
You admit, for the past month (or two…or three) you have not been moving with the urgency that characterized the beginning of your travels. But what is a long journey for, if not stop and enjoy the sights, the people, the exotic foods, along the way?
The Question still remains. You can feel the little spark of it inside you, and as you stand at the base of the forbidding mountain that must be summitted on foot, you fan it back into flame. This gives you the strength you need for the last leg of your Journey as you scrape your hands on rough rocks, shiver from the bitter chill of the air, and wake to sore, achy muscles day after day.
Though exhausted, it is with triumph and excitement that you reach the top to find – nothing, and no one. Frowning, you pull out the journal that contains the handwritten notes and maps produced by your careful research. One circled word jumps out at you: “Eastern-most”. You have climbed the wrong mountain.
It’s never too early to start thinking about The End – how you think (or don’t think) about the Destination informs how you will make decisions as you Journey.
The Journey is about the Destination; don’t be fooled by platitudes stating otherwise. Why did you start out on the Journey in the first place? Are you still headed in the right direction? Where is the next stop along the path where you can rest, re-equip, and re-evaluate your plan?
The answers to questions like these will determine if you brought enough food and water, what kind of gear and garb must be procured, and what your timeline is. By actively preparing to reach the Destination, you not only increase your chance of success but you will also make the Journey itself more pleasant and enjoyable – which is precisely what those people who ignore their Destination are concerned with in the first place.
We are all on different Journeys, but there is at least one stop along the way that we hold in common – the Grand Syndicate Ball. It is a place that we firmly believe can refresh and restore you, especially if you know what you are looking for. It may provide you with the stone you need to slay an ogre or the glass slipper that grants entrance to a castle. Sometimes it gives attendees but a draught of cool water – yet what a gift that is to those who have labored through deserts.
Here is a secret: what you seek, you often find. What you give, you shall receive.
This is not to say that if you merely want something badly enough, your desire will be fulfilled. Seeking and Giving are active terms, and they require that you be thinking of the Destination constantly. Did you overturn stones? Wade through rivers? Did you toil and sweat, and give to the poor and hungry along your way?
The prince that we meet in stories is never given the answers to his troubles while he sits in a corner of the castle.
No, by the time we come across him he is travel weary and sick at heart. Upon meeting an old woman at the crossroads, out of pity, he hands her his last crust of bread. It is then that she tells him which path to take and gives him the magic cloak that will ensure his success. He is always surprised, but we never are.
Except, of course, for those times when we are the prince, and the story is ours.
We look forward to the day our paths will cross at the Grand Syndicate Ball. Until then, keep your Destination firmly in sight as you Journey
Further Up, Further In
-The GSB Team