250px-North_ithacaNot a destination. We choose to make it worthwhile or not. Along the journey there are turning points and we are faced with decisions. Sometimes we make the right decisions and other times we don’t. There are also others who join us on our journey. Each person we meet comes into our life for a reason. Some people stay with us for a long time and others leave us after just a few days or hours. Others stick around for too long when we know it would have been better to part ways sooner.

It is up to us to live out our journey and to embrace each step along the way. Only then can we really get to know our life. This means accepting and fully experiencing the highs and lows. We wise up the day we realize that searching for happiness outside ourselves often results in an endless search for something that does not exist.

The best part about life is that we can rewrite any part of our journey whenever we want. Get busy writing. You have a purpose while on this earth. Make your journey worthwhile.

I first heard the poem, Ithaca, while at a wedding in Greece two years ago. To this day, when I read it or listen to Sean Connery read it, I feel inspired again and again. I love life and all the chances I have to improve, grow, and make each day count. I hope Ithaca does the same for you.

Where is your Ithaca?

 

Listen to Sean Connery read the poem. Wonderful.

 

Ithaca

Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933), translated by Rae Dalven

 

When you start on your journey to Ithaca,

then pray that the road is long,

full of adventure, full of knowledge.

Do not fear the Lestrygonians

and the Cyclopes and the angry Poseidon.

You will never meet such as these on your path,

if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine

emotion touches your body and your spirit.

You will never meet the Lestrygonians,

the Cyclopes and the fierce Poseidon,

if you do not carry them within your soul,

if your soul does not raise them up before you.

 

Then pray that the road is long.

That the summer mornings are many,

that you will enter ports seen for the first time

with such pleasure, with such joy!

Stop at Phoenician markets,

and purchase fine merchandise,

mother-of-pearl and corals, amber and ebony,

and pleasurable perfumes of all kinds,

buy as many pleasurable perfumes as you can;

visit hosts of Egyptian cities,

to learn and learn from those who have knowledge.

 

Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind.

To arrive there is your ultimate goal.

But do not hurry the voyage at all.

It is better to let it last for long years;

and even to anchor at the isle when you are old,

rich with all that you have gained on the way,

not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

 

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.

Without her you would never have taken the road.

But she has nothing more to give you.

 

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not defrauded you.

With the great wisdom you have gained, with so much experience,

you must surely have understood by then what Ithaca means.