The Power of Effort: Why the Journey Is More Important Than the Destination

Craig Stanland
3 min readMar 21

Self-love isn’t a destination.
Self-trust isn’t a destination.
Self-worth isn’t a destination.
My full potential isn’t a destination.
Self-acceptance isn’t a destination.
Knowing I’m enough isn’t a destination.
Success, as I define it, isn’t a destination.

They are each unique and separate journeys that run parallel to each other and whose paths cross regularly.

By themselves, they’re unbelievably powerful; together, they’re a foundation for a remarkable life.

The journeys are infinite while I’m still breathing; there’s no end outside my death.

The day I understood this was a transformational day.

It was one of those tumblers falling into place, epiphany-type moments that was both disappointing and liberating.

Disappointing because I’d never get where I thought I wanted to go. How would I know when I achieved them?

How would I measure myself?

For as long as I can remember, my self-worth and sense of being enough were inextricably interwoven to the outcome.

For so long, I honed in on the fastest, most efficient means to reach the outcome, embracing the “by any means necessary” mentality.

Lying, cheating, whatever.

I needed to grab the brass ring; if I didn’t, I was worthless.

It was liberating because it unwound a lifetime of chasing outcomes and, in turn, measuring myself against those outcomes.

I liberated myself from the need to lie and cheat to get what I wanted.

When I focus on the outcome, I can make mistakes, I can fail, and in turn, become a failure.

When I focus on my effort, I’m focused on the next smallest step in front of me, fully knowing where I’m heading but accepting that it’s ok if I don’t get there.

What matters is this step, being present with it, and going all in on it.

Craig Stanland

I write about my journey from corporate success to federal prison and finding joy, mission, meaning, and fulfillment beyond professional and financial success.