Life’s about the journey, not the destination

I recently came across an article
about Ryan Giggs, the Manchester United football player, that touched a
nerve with me. It talks about how Giggs has managed to keep his
professional fire burning brightly, long after others have faded or
crashed and burnt, despite having already won ten league titles, four
FA Cups and two Champions League titles.

I think the key is seeing life
as a journey, rather than a destination. Here are some extract of the article, by Matthew Syed in the Times (relevant even if, like me, you're not a big football fan!)

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What is it about a man who has the world but wants yet more? It is a question I found myself pondering on Sunday as I watched Ryan Giggs – 35 years of age, with ten league titles, four FA Cups and two Champions League triumphs – twisting the blood of a new generation of defenders en route to a goal that would have been life-changing from the boot of a lesser player.

In many ways, Giggs is the mirror image of Sir Alex Ferguson, his manager. They share a philosophy that states that too much is never enough. Even now, as they contemplate an eleventh Premier League crown, hopes still alive of an historic quintuple, they look to the future, never coasting, never ceasing in their pursuit of the next horizon.

But the question remains: why? Why the demented pursuit of titles and awards that have already been won so often? Why the need to regard each new challenge as a rite of passage as urgent and life-defining as the last? Why the desire to ask questions of oneself over and over again, as if seeking an answer that will remain for ever elusive?

Manchester United have gone 1,212 minutes without conceding a league goal. Ferguson was lauded for United's defensive feats after the defeat of West Ham United on Sunday, but he looked almost troubled by the compliments. He acknowledged the achievement, but swiftly shifted the focus forward. “It's time to kick on,” he said.

In that sentence, Ferguson laid bare both the meaning and method of United's success. Ferguson and Giggs are not interested in anything as tangible as the next trophy; they are embarked on an odyssey with a destination that always exists just over the horizon. They seek the unattainable and, in the process, achieve the thrillingly improbable.