Does Inspiration Come From The Journey Or The Destination

SONY DSCMost of our success in life originated from some person, place or event that inspired us, or did it?

I have recently given this idea much thought and I am beginning to believe that it is not where someone has ended up that inspires me, bu the journey they took to get there.

I have surrounded myself with people that inspire me and I can honestly say that some have made it big time and some are still in the early stages.  The interesting thing to me as I try and learn from their experiences, is that I am no more inspired by those that have already achieved their goals and dreams then those who are still in pursuit.

I have been asked before, “Who inspires you?” and for the most part my mind immediately shifted to those who, by the standards set by the world we live in, have achieved success.

I have a different look on things now.  Why do I feel this way?  Because I see the hard work and determination that leads up to the accomplishment.

Think about it.  How often do we really know what it took for someone to achieve their goals and reach their dreams?  Usually it’s not until they have gotten there and we read about it in their book, in a magazine or some other social media publication.

I now draw my inspiration from my friends and colleagues who are doing what I am doing.  Chasing their dream through hard work and perseverance.  Overcoming adversity because their “why” is strong enough to find the “how.”

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.”  –  Robert Louis Stevenson

I love what Stevenson says.  Do you find inspiration in what you give or what you get? The thing that inspires me most is watching people that are working hard to add value to others, not themselves.  That’s what inspires me.

If I want to inspire others, I need to give them hope that they can be more and achieve more.  The way I can do that is by believing in myself and believing in them.

“In life you need either inspiration or desperation.”  –  Tony Robbins

I want others to live an inspired life not a desperate one.  Most people wake up every day focused on what they have to do.  My dream is for people to wake up focused on what they want to do.

So does inspiration come from the journey or from the destination?  I believe it comes from the journey.  The destination might look nice but it’s the trip that makes the difference.

In July, I am taking my youngest son on a road trip to Mt. Rushmore.  The trip will include stops in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park.

Seeing Mt. Rushmore will certainly be something I will remember for the rest of my life but what inspires me is that I get to spend two thousand miles with my son.  I have planned out the trip and every day we have a destination, but the journey is what we will remember.

Simon Sinek in his Ted talk “How great leaders inspire action” says that people don’t care about what you do, they care about why you do it.  My question today, “Why do you do what you do?”


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Barry Smith    6/3/13   photo by author   © Building What Matters 2013

12 Responses to “Does Inspiration Come From The Journey Or The Destination”

  1. Barry, I absolutely LOVED this post. As an entrepreneur getting out there every day to reach my goals and dreams, I 100% agree with you. A huge part of inspiration is looking at people around you that are going for it too! Thank you…..

    • Barry says:

      Thanks Cynthia. I appreciate how you have pointed out the importance of seeking out “like-minded” people that will add to the collaboration. Great point!

  2. “Why do I do what I do?”
    Because this is what I was made to do.

    To be strong, to learn more, understand more, to help others to be strong, to learn more, understand more…

    To be ready when my purpose is revealed to me. Is this my purpose? I believe it is. To share with others the journey I am on… what I have learned, the mistakes I have made, the complete and utter fact that as long as you (I) don’t quit, tomorrow is brand new and sparkly fresh with untold and unimagined possibilities…

    To make a difference in someone else’s journey.

    Thank you for this, Barry. Thank you for understanding.

    • Barry says:

      Thanks so much Amber-Lee. The works you are doing “up-north” continue to be an inspiration to me and many others. I love your focus on purpose, it definitely helps to inspire others when we are doing what we were meant to do.

  3. Great post Barry !

    Ah ! you touch on such an essential subject for all leaders.

    Remaining in an inspired mode is a daily practice that reaps many benefits.

    Personally, I find it keeps me in a giving and sharing mode. I am constantly grateful for the gifts I received each day, for the connections and the opportunity to grow as a person.

    I say don’t let life live you, rather live life to the fullest !

    Appreciated !


  4. Barry says:

    Great attitude and great contribution Johann. Giving and sharing are definitely a bi-product of inspiration. Well stated my friend – as usual!

  5. Carina Burns says:


    Your beautiful post reminded me of my good friend’s comment “Remember, the journey is the goal.” Everyone here has such valuable tools and insights from their own journeys, NAMASTE :-)

    Lo and behold today was an eye-opener so as to my “WHY” I do what I do. I spoke at my Toastmaster’s Club, and my speech was received as “POWERFUL”. Then it clicked for me to offer three short videos instead of a long eleven-minute one…nobody will sit that long…just my personal opinion. I’m on one incredible journey as I’ve always only had my “journey” as my goal. A beautiful Ah Ha! moment :-)

    Barry, I support you 200%

    In gratitude.

    • Barry says:

      Thanks so much Carina. I have found it interesting that we learn so much along the way. It is amazing the progress we can make once we actually take the first step.

  6. Thanks, Barry for another inspiring post. Our WHY is the foundation for everything. Simon Sinek is one of my heroes and mentors, too, since he has distilled the essence of operating from the place of our core-values to that one word: WHY. If we ask WHY for every choice and action, it makes the journey our purpose and the destination just keeps evolving – in a positive way. Another quote that I just love about the journey:”Negative looks backwards. Positive looks forward. Vision, if it is to inspire, always looks out the windshield, instead of the rear view mirror.” Simon Sinek

    • Barry says:

      Great quote Susan. Sinek has definitely provided many inspirational thoughts. Thanks for your continued support. It is much appreciated!

  7. Mohammed Shahjahan says:


    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.