working towards

Working On vs Working Towards?

Is there a difference between working on versus working towards? Working on feels like I am engaged in the work that matters. Working towards provides a sense that there is ground between me and the work that matters.

Is it similar to a river viewed in different seasons? We are working on the river when it is flowing. We are working towards when we travel on its frozen surface.

Both journeys matter but the terrain we have to navigate is different.