“The value of achievement lies in the achieving.”—Albert Einstein — To D. Liberson, October 28, 1950. AEA 60–297

He is telling us to enjoy the journey.  The journey is 99% of life.  Take sports, for example.  Football season has now extended to the entire year, spring training, pre-season games, season, playoffs,  and then…. yes….the ultimate objective:

Superbowl.

superbowl

Ummmmm…. how long did that last?  And what percent of us remember much of anything past the half-time show?  In fact, I know guys (whom shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) that remember what team won, based on the main star of the half time show. Anyway… my point is simply that of 365 days, the objective boils down to 1 of those.  If you didn’t enjoy the other 364,…. well that seems like a poor choice of 364 days….

unhappiness

Whether you achieve early or later, the end goal becomes the “already achieved”, the springboard to the next project.  How many of those young prodigies, the CEOs that accomplished unfathomable results,  do you know that sat at home after reaching lofty goals, watching TV when they were 35? 55? 75? How many rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches stories have you read? The objective became redefined, along with the path.  We don’t really derive happiness from the end game, partly because sometimes the objective changes, hopefully because we have fundamentally accepted it’s the journey that is the fun part.

It’s just that often the journey becomes challenged by the value of the prize; even outside of intrinsic value (such as the purse in a horserace) particularly if there is more to be gained than meets the eye.  The goal becomes influenced by those that have even more to gain than the one pursuing.  Foraying into horseracing is a perfect example of a byzantine lifestyle.  An algebraic sport it is entertainment for people who recognize that numbers are only part of its equation,

…which is why betting becomes less perfectly predictable and then by algorithms of shrewd bookmaking, highly profitable.  It is also, for the moment, what seems to be the fragile house of cards under our sport.  Somehow we have come to depend more heavily on the idea that parimutuel income and handle mean more to horseracing than horses or racing.  The wheels of time continue to revolve and thus evolve what is happening in our world of thoroughbred racing.  This unusual anachronism that is our industry will have to find a new platform on which to survive and continue it’s journey.

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About michellenihei

Bachelor of Science, University of Saskatchewan Diplomate in Veterinary Science, University of Saskatchewan Master of Science, University of Saskatchewan Doctor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky Post-Doctoral and Jr. Faculty, Johns Hopkins University, MD Assistant trainer to Christopher Speckert, Rebecca Maker, Todd Pletcher Independent business owner and racehorse trainer; StabelLab Evangelist
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