Don’t we all seek a little comfort? Don’t we all crave some well-being, some peace of mind, some tranquility? Don’t we want to be satisfied?
Well, yes. Maybe. But as I was writing, that last one threw me a curve. Bells went off and flags went up. Maybe it’s the puritan work ethic boiling in my cauldron, but I’m not quite certain.
I don’t know the answer precisely and I have a severely limited perspective, admittedly. But it’s my personal observation we are at our best when we are working hard, striving for a goal. Like St. Bernards, people are work animals. We are happiest with an appropriate amount of stress in our life, working toward goals, pushing our limits.
Here’s the risk: if we become too ripe we begin to rot. It’s true, you know.
Goals are vital to our… well, to our vitality. Competition makes us stronger, it sharpens our skills and strengthens our capacity to be the best we can possibly be. Deep in our genetic composition is a survival instinct that emerges when tested. If we can hold fear at bay and allow the best in our nature to rise, good things often happen.
In fact, I would go so far as to say our culture projects strangely wrong images as ideals. Media serves up the very wealthy, the very successful, the most affluent in society as somehow happier than the average bear. But in conversation, most financially successful people are nostalgic not about their riches, but about the journey that brought them there.
It’s why self-made people are infinitely more interesting than 2nd second-generation wealthy.
As travel professionals, we know the journey is as important as the destination. Don’t set goals for your travel practice that are too easily reached. When you hit your goals, get some new ones. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of being satisfied for more than a moment or 2. Set the next goal, strive to be better than you are. Your clients will take note.
The truth is, we are happier peeking at Nirvana than peaking at Nirvana.
So, keep on keeping on. Get to work.
What else do you have to do?
Richard Earls is the Publisher of Travel Research Online, an online travel industry resource dedicated to enhancing the professional lives of travel agents.