Photo taken by the author; Three Sister’s Mountain Range at dusk; Canmore, AB
“Every search begins with beginners luck. And every search ends with the victor being severely tested. The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.”
– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
A helpful guide at this point would be to say that a person’s search changes throughout their lifetime. There are various seasons, or stages, that we as human beings inherently go through as we live life. Aren’t you glad you’re not stuck as an infant for the rest of your life, spending your days wearing diapers, crying as your lungs maintain a full-capacity level, and unable to speak a coherent train of thought?
Each stage of life reveals different searches, each presenting themselves with different opportunities and challenges. It is during each stage where we can experience different passions, interests, priorities, or goals than the previous stage. New ones take centre stage while older ones move backstage as the curtain comes down. To illustrate, what a young adult is searching for in their twenty-something is radically different from what our parents are searching for. And that is much different than what our grandparents are looking for.
Like the economic cycle, our life can best be viewed, or understood as, in cycles. Sometimes life for us is on an up-swing while other times it seems to be going the other way. Yet, these cycles seem to take place within an equilibrium, where our lives are constantly being brought back into balance, to be centred. Just take a moment and reflect back over your life, or even this past year, and observe the various waves you have had to ride through.
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”
– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Different stages of life present different goals a person sets for themselves. Each of these goals offer different motiving factors for what a person wants in life at a particular time. There are plenty of ways this “search” can be categorized as: meaning, purpose, career, faith, lifestyle, a soulmate, a spouse, dream vacation, travelling, friendships, acceptance, hope, love (and all the various kinds of love that there are), a sense of belonging, and accomplishment, to name a few.
As the saying goes, “The journey is more important than the destination.” And searching, of all the types and kinds that exist, is a journey – in fact, it may be one of the most important journey’s we take in life. Still trying to understand the logic in this, for me the process has in it more significance than the end goal or the accomplishment of our desired endpoint. I think this is because both the fun and the learning take place in the journey.
After all, life is an adventure and it isn’t the arrival or the destination that brings life – to either the search or the searcher. The thing about each of us is we are evolving creatures. In fact, our world and everything in it is in a constant, changing, and continuously evolving state. Nothing is static; rather, it is dynamic. That is the nature of the search.