04th February, 2023
I recently reread the
‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ (ZAMM) which is an autobiography of American writer and philosopher, Robert Pirsig, wherein he chronicles his motorcycle journey across the country with his son.
It is however much more than just an adventure tale.
Through his journey, Pirsig explains his philosophy on life, creating a manifesto through motorcycle maintenance.
There are many lessons to be learnt from this book, but a handful persist throughout the story that helped reshape my perspective.
Like, here is what Pirsig writes on how we lose so much time on unnecessary affairs that we move swiftly past what is really important –
“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone.”
Then, here is Pirsig’s idea of how to fix the world –
“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there. Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle.”
One of the most beautiful lessons I take from the book, is the idea of enjoying the journey instead of just waiting for the destination. As Pirsig writes –
“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed.
To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.”
Our life is one big experience that we are having every moment of the day but we are so focused on the outcome, destination or goal that we tend to lose the ability to enjoy the present moment.
All the work, growth, expansion, and enjoyment are in the journey, not the destination. Once we arrive at the destination it will be so much more enjoyable if we are first able to enjoy the journey.
After a few deep breaths and enjoying the destination, we are back on another journey.
Starting this weekend, Happy travels and remember to enjoy the journey and stay blessed forever.