Beyond the Build


Are We There Yet?

[I remember saying this to my parents a zillion times on those long vacation road trips to Florida.]

Since last year, I’ve been building a small cabin in the mountains and have had a great time doing it. I’ve worked with my children to get the design how we’d like it, right down to making the cabin furniture in our barn with my oldest daughter and several of our craftsmen. As we are nearing completion, I got to thinking about one of my hiking shirts that said, “The journey is the destination.” It made me wonder if I will enjoy the cabin itself as much I’ve enjoyed working on it for the last nine months. I think I will, but it still made me think.

We rush around trying to reach a goal–a larger house, fancier car or more money. When we meet that goal, we look for another, then another. That’s probably not the way it should be.

Maybe the true reward is the attention and energy concentrated on the journey and what we learn along the way. Anyone can enjoy the process. No qualifications needed. No barriers to entry. Just acceptance that there will be successes and failures, ups and downs.

It’s not about getting there or how quickly one can arrive. It’s about what you take away from the ride. 


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.