After publishing the Crossroads issue I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t wait to get started on the issue you are holding right now. I had a “small” list of possible themes, so it was just a matter of picking one and getting the show on the road again, right?
Not quite the case, as my girlfriend and I decided to buy a house and this would not turn into a home on its own. Trying to divide my energy between the house and launching the new issue proved to be too difficult. The result was a cycle of starting and procrastinating, which, over time, frustrated me immensely. However, this struggle presented me with a possible theme for the new issue. Up until now, each theme was a direct result of significant experiences in my own life and this time wouldn’t any different.
In pursuing a goal – whether it be a physical achievement, arriving at a certain destination or even when creating a magazine – we tend to only look at the end result. Usually, this is what defines success. Therefore, arriving at that final stage as quickly as possible is often what drives us. Not ending up where we intended to go is seen as failing. By now we’re realising that this yearning for instant gratification and only sharing what is going well or according to plan, is poisonous. To a certain extent, it is also taking away meaning from what we do accomplish and perhaps, even more importantly, ignores the process we go through in order to reach a goal.
There is a pivotal moment in this process, which will define a person as somebody who is coming to grips with the task at hand and who is willing to act. It’s that moment where the decision is made to not give up. Some call it motivation, others call it a drive. I defined this as perseverance, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to endure no matter the consequences. It can also mean that one takes a step back to reflect and change course, only to arrive at the destination with a detour, or even to find a different destination altogether.
It’s fairly easy to come up with a reason not to do something, especially in times where instant gratification frequently feels like the norm. To keep going, against the odds that are presented, is a very conscious decision which often will be rewarded with a meaningful process (even when it’s only in hindsight) and an end result to be proud of.
When I started with this issue I thought perseverance would automatically mean that there is a necessity for a struggle. Making this magazine has shown me that it’s also perfectly fine to slow down, reflect and continue from there…wherever that may lead me. I hope the stories on the 170 pages will inspire you as much as they did me.