I walked through the arid desert in search of water, and found none. I then traveled across the mountains and the grassy plains to the vast ocean beyond, seeking water. There, I found none. If only I had stopped to drink at the stream along the way.
Ironic, no? But did he recognize what he saw when he passed it by?
Yes, ironic. Perhaps the man saw it, but didn't appreciate/recognize it for what it was, the very thing that would satisfy his desires and quench his thirst. But instead, he went all the way from having nothing and no hope of finding it in the desert to the huge ocean where there is more water than you can dream of. So he spent all his remaining energy/life getting there to the land of plenty, skipping past everything that was there along the way, only to find that the grand scale of what he sought didn't fit his needs/wants at all. And in the end, he was left with nothing.
Well, the wise among us know that both the desert and the ocean are rather barren wastelands, but it is all the space in between, from the mountains down the fertile side, that provides everything we need. Life is the same way. You can craft a goal to fulfill your desires, but your vision of the end goal should not exclude all the other opportunities and directions that lie in between, and may be more suitable for making you happy. Simply aiming for the best and the greatest can often lead us astray, wasting our lives running towards an end that has no real value. Taking in what lies in between is how you find happiness.