You remember the classic movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Steve Martin plays Neal Page, a busy all-important marketing man gets rerouted to Wichita and gets stuck with the lovable Del Griffith (played by John Candy). The two embark on an iconic journey of getting “home.” But the destination is very different for each man, searching for their own destination, looking for their own purpose, seeking clarity on this journey. Neal’s real lesson is about how he has been neglecting his family; he’s been too involved with his look, his clothes, his lifestyle and his client. He comes to realize he’s been missing the best part of life. Del, the most unlikely candidate, is the one to teach him this lesson. Del, who keeps a picture of his wife by his bed every night, is the one who sheds light, or clarity, on Neal’s circumstances in an ever so subtle way. In fact, Neal’s moment of clarity arrives while he’s on the train riding home after dropping Del off. He’s recalling this epic journey and it hits him. Del, the adorable, lovable teddy bear, has no wife. He did, but, Neal realizes, Del’s wife is dead. What happens next is remarkable. Neal, even though he’s on his way to his destination, turns around to go rescue Del. Neal goes back for Del to bring him to Neal’s house for the holidays.
Great movie. Great story. Great moment of clarity. Journeys have a way of bringing out the clarity we need to derive from everyday life. Notice, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that brings us the clarity. We may start on a journey with clarity of where we want to go, how we want things to end up, or what the outcomes should be, but journeys have a way of reframing what the point is really all about. Hint: It’s usually not about the destination … at least not the one you set out on. [Read more…]