Where the magic is

where the magic is - image for article by Greg Alder

There are two types of journey. Most of us are taking the wrong one.

Typically, our journeys have a start point. They have an end point. They follow a familiar route. They are routine.

On our journeys, we see nothing new. We see nothing, full stop. We travel highways on cruise control, the landscape a remote blur. Metal signs count down the distance to our destination.

We have learnt how quickly we can reach our end point. We are annoyed when we’re delayed. We’re happy when we arrive ahead of schedule.

As we drive, we live. Our lives have become a series of destinations that we reach faster and faster. Experience has taught us to expect answers to our Google searches in less than half a second. I Googled ‘Typical Google search result time’. My question was answered in 0.37 seconds. I knew the answer before I saw the answer.

And that’s the problem with the journeys most of us are on. We know what lies ahead. We know the outcome. We arrive at the outcome we anticipated. We leave that outcome and arrive at another expected outcome.

We have stopped embarking on journeys with a start point only. We have stopped embarking on journeys without an estimated time of arrival. We have stopped embarking on journeys of discovery.

We have forgotten where the magic is. The magic is on the country lanes, the roads less travelled – or where there are no roads. The magic is seen at the pace of a leisurely walk, not a 110 kph race to our destination.

Journeys of discovery are pointless. And that’s the point. When our journey has a point, we have expectations. We seek only the fastest way to meet our expectations.

If we approach life this way, we see nothing new. We never arrive anywhere different than the place we always end up.

If we approach a problem with expectations of the outcome, we stand no chance of discovering a new way to arrive at that outcome. Nor will we ever chance upon a completely new outcome.

Creativity doesn’t travel in a straight line. There’s no logic. There’s no set length of journey. The surprising, original creative idea arrives where and when we least expect it.

This weekend, or during this Christmas holiday, set out on a journey with no destination in mind, with no GPS, with no commitment and see where it takes you. Set out on a journey without driving on a highway and see what discoveries you make.

Take a journey to that forgotten place where the magic is.

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