As I move through the mid of my career, I have wondered whats the path and where we should go. At some point, I realise, the whole movement is like a great marathon. It first starts off steady, where everyone starts running in line. Along the way, some wander off the track to find shortcuts, some persevere to keep on the focused path, while others found new goals and adventures.
People change vocations along the way, fluctuating from high energy demanding jobs to mentoring and planning jobs. I start to wonder, what are most people looking for? My deduction so far, is that people are trying to gather more experiences, not only experience. Working on interesting projects with great people; and when the time is up, people seek newer pastures.
“Keep moving, keep learning” or “stay hungry”. that sounds familiar isnt it? So what do you do when you keep moving? what stays with you? The conclusion, is your craft. What is it that makes you what you are. Are you ready to be a master at a certain vocation, or are you just started in your new journey?
So why the apprentice, why the journeyman and why the master?
Most apprentices aspired to becoming master craftsmen themselves on completion of their contract (usually a term of seven years), but some would spend time as a journeyman and a significant proportion would never acquire their own workshop.
In the European guild system, only masters and journeymen were allowed to be members of the guild. An aspiring master would have to pass through the career chain from apprentice to journeyman before he could be elected to become a master craftsman.
On this note, everyone starts off on a journey. And rather thinking of this as a path, I tend to think of this as a cycle. Just like one of the thoughts in Zen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_Mind,_Beginner%27s_Mind), the beginners mind gains the most and thus is the most enjoyable moments in the path / cycle of your journey.