Many people annually walk the Camino de Santiago which ends at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of Saint James are buried. Many follow different routes (some longer, some shorter) as a form of spiritual path or retreat.
The French Way
The French Way (Camino Francés) is the most popular (60% of pilgrims) of the routes of the Camino de Santiago which is also known as the ancient pilgrimage route.
It starts on the French side of the Pyrenees and then across to Roncesvalles on the Spanish side and then another 780km to Santiago de Compostela. A typical walk on the Camino Francés takes at least four weeks. Some people travel by bicycle or on horseback.
The Northern Way
The Northern Way (Camino del Norte) is an 817km, five-week coastal route from Basque Country, near the French border, and follows the northern coastline of Spain to Galicia where it heads inland towards Santiago and later joining the Camino Francés at Arzúa.
The main pilgrimage route though follows an earlier Roman trade route, which continues past Santiago de Compostella to the Atlantic coast of Galicia, ending at Cape Finisterre. The name Finisterrae was given by the Romans which literally means the end of the world or Land’s End in Latin. (Source: Wikipedia)
The best way?
Question is what is the best way to tackle such a big endeavour?
Do you walk the maximum you can on days you feel like it and just linger along the days you don’t, or do you set yourself a certain target (let’s say 20 or 25 kilometers) to cover every day? The same applies to business; do you set a certain percentage growth as target that applies every year, or do you chase higher growth in good years and just try to hang in there during the lean ones.
# Another really long walk that grips my imagination is the journey of Ezra the Priest. We read about it in Ezra 7:9 “On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.” Can you imagine a journey lasting 4 months (17½ weeks).
Scott and Amundsen heading south
In his book Great by Choice, Jim Collins compares the journeys of Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen in their race to be the first ever to reach the South Pole towards the end of 1911 and early 1912.
According to Collins, Amundsen’s planning and getting acquainted with extreme cold conditions was much better than Scott’s. But the interesting part is that Amundsen set out
to cover a certain distance every day whether the weather was good or bad in order not to exhaust themselves on any given day.
They reached the Pole in less than two months and 33 days ahead of Scott and his expedition. They completed the whole journey in just less than three months.
Scott on the other hand with inadequate research and planning, tried to cover as much ground as possible on good days and laid low on bad days. Eventually it took them almost 2½ months to reach the Pole and after a journey of 4½ months, while still on their way back, they all died of exposure.
According to Collins the same applies for business. A steady annual growth rate produces much better results in the long run than progressing with leaps and bounds one year and the next you just try to keep the company afloat. I suppose the wise king Solomon had the same idea when he said “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” (Ecc 11:4)
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