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The 18 Inch Journey

How do you explain the route to a certain destination if you yourself have never been there?

A man who once struggled to direct a traveller to a certain destination concluded with,

Sir, if you want to go to that place, you should not start from here.

But life does not work that way; we need to start where we are. Do you live with direction? Do you know where you are heading with your life, career or business? You know where you are, but how will you determine the direction for the rest of your life?

Should you follow your mind, what your “common” sense tells you, or follow your heart? Usually we follow the mind, what “makes sense.” But let’s take a little detour before we get back to the head and heart journey.

What is the longest journey you have ever undertaken? On a certain holiday trip through some neighbouring countries we covered 8600km in 28 days. But should we express the length of a journey in terms of distance, or the time it took to cover the distance?

I remember my mother always talked about a movie that was one of her all-time favourites, Around the World in 80 Days. The movie was released in 1956 and was a huge box office success which made (for those days) a staggering $36m profit. A re-make of the movie in 2004 made a loss of $44m.

In 1956 I suppose a journey around the world was seen as an extreme challenge, almost like reaching the summit of Mount Everest which was first achieved by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

A journey that must have seemed somewhat farfetched when announced by Pres John F Kennedy of the USA in 1961 was

… this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.

But on 20 July 1969 (before the end of the decade) the mission was accomplished. (Wikipedia)

Yet the longest journey timewise, seems to be the journey from the head to the heart, although the distance covered is only 18 inches.

# When making career choices, the money that can be earned, is often a determining factor in the choice of a career and courses to study. This is primarily a head journey where you rely on your common sense. We all would like to make a good living. In doing so, some people become very successful while others become disillusioned.

But when we reach and pass midlife, questions about the meaning of life start to surface. Some call it the midlife crisis, but if you understand what is happening to you, it can be midlife without the “crisis.”

It takes approximately 20 to 30 years to cover the “the 18 inch journey.” At this stage many people want to redirect their lives because the money focus becomes empty and questions about significance and legacy start to surface. It is a major shift to learn to follow your heart and not just the head. It may also have a spiritual impact.

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