An old trick, this habit of scanning the horizon in search of a challenging quadrant and wondering: Is this my destiny? A childish trick, for we know if we go far enough we’re bound to return full circle—to the point of departure.. What is it about that horizon? What lies on the other side? Not just ships and land and more of the same old ocean—but what is the magic that calls…and who am I fooling really? — Sterling Hayden, Wanderer
We each look to the horizon, wondering at our destiny. Some look and feel it too far a journey, and maybe it is. Maybe we aren’t meant to endlessly follow the horizon. Then again, maybe we gaze out at such a distance as a way to stop us from ever going in the first place.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” — Lao Tzu
Focus too much on the horizon and you’ll surely stumble. Focus too much on the step in front of you and you’ll find yourself going in circles. The answer, of course, is to keep one eye towards the horizon with the other on this next step.
As Hayden points out, the funny thing about chasing horizons is that you’ll eventually end up going full circle back to where you began. What he doesn’t say is that you’ll be a different person upon your return. Surely you’ll look at where you started in a whole new light.
We chase all sorts of horizons through travel and writing and learning new things. A quest doesn’t always mean setting sail, but the analogy holds true nonetheless. For when we chase horizons we’re embarking on a journey of transformation. We all ought to chase horizons, for deep down, we know we can’t stay where we’ve been. Not when there’s so much out there for us.