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Finishing Lines, Stevie Smith quote illustration: a cyclist sits on their bike about to set off on a long journey - the bike is heavily loaded with panniers at the front and the back. The thought bubble above their head shows them visualising the finish line of their journey as their motivation to get going. As Stevie Smith suggests: "The most important role of a finishing line is to get you over the start line."

Finishing lines

“Just remember that finishing lines are good, but their most important role is to get you over the start line in the first place.”

This little piece of wisdom is from Stevie Smith (not the poet). Stevie embarked on a human-powered journey around the world—Expedition 360—and reached Hawaii under pedal power*. I learned about him from a little chapter in One Man and His Bike by Mike Carter. As soon as I finished the chapter where he speaks with Stevie I immediately reread it.

Mike also shared this deeper and more poetic version of the same insight:

“Happiness is the acceptance of the journey as it is now, not the promise of the other shore”

*Stevie’s companion Jason Lewis completed the circumnavigation of the world 13 years after they began.

This quote, modified to a lovely two-page spread, features with a number of others in my book Big Ideas Little Pictures.

Also see:

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