When to NOT begin with an end in mind

We are told too often to ‘begin with the end in mind’ – to set a goal, to make a plan and move towards it step-by-step.

Sometimes, getting to the destination is all that matters. When you’re rushing to the airport, the point is to get there as soon as possible – the journey doesn’t matter. But exploration is about the journey, not the destination. A stroll around the neighbourhood or a hike in the woods aren’t about the destination – they are about the experience itself.

We know the explorer, Roald Amundsen, for having led the first successful expeditions to the South Pole and the North Pole. We know him in terms of the ends he achieved. But dig deeper, and you will realize how the more interesting part is the journey it took to arrive there.

To begin with the end in mind makes sense if the end is all that matters. But exploration, by definition, doesn’t have a particular end. If you do explore with an an end in mind, you are likely to be disappointed when you arrive.

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