For a while, I have been following Martin from Wintergaten, who is making a marble machine that plays music. My sister, Liz, introduced me to it. He had a goal: create a marble machine that could go on a world concert tour and play music. And eventually, he figured out that the goal was a bit impossible. He had been making videos all along the way, and many people had funded his videos and project, and then he stopped posting.
He was very set on a end goal and didn’t want to settle for less, but when the end goal didn’t work out, he gave up on the parts of his project that had the most meaning to others.
Other people didn’t really care if the marble machine went on a world tour: they loved the videos. They loved watching someone work and learn and make mistakes. They loved the music.
And because that main goal didn’t work out, all of the other value that had been created in the project was dismissed.
Often, we set big goals for ourselves, in our careers and our families. I’ve set out to remodel my home recently, and it hasn’t always gone to plan.
But the point of my goal is not to end up with a fully renovated and beautiful home. Yes, that is what my goal is, but that’s the not the point. The point is the work that comes along the way.
I know a few people who obtained a piece of land and planned to build and finish a house. But then the unexpected happened and they never finished. Even though they didn’t finish their house, they got to live in the place that they wanted to be.
Incomplete does not equal failure.
Because life is full of the incomplete, and there are still so many small successes before completion can happen.
And we should celebrate and recognize those successes. We might even find we want to change our end goal because of the things we learn in the process.