From Here to There
If you’re struggling to make progress toward your goals, take a step back and make sure you know the following three things:
- Where you are now.
- Where you want to be.
- What’s between those two points.
I’ve talked to a lot of people who are trying to move forward without knowing some or all of those things. You can’t plot a course without them, and you need specifics.
Where you are now.
In order to know where you are, you need to have answers to these questions:
- What do you enjoy about where you are now?
- What do you dislike about where you are now?
- What’s keeping you where you are? (In other words: Why aren’t you somewhere else right now?)
- What are the various paths leading away from where you are now?
So many people think they know where they are, but they really have no idea. People tend to look toward the horizon, they tend to dream about what isn’t instead of examining what is.
Reflect on your situation and figure out exactly where you are right now.
Where you want to be.
Asking someone to drive to “the west coast” or plot a course to “somewhere in the pacific ocean” is not useful. Where on the west coast? Where in the pacific ocean? When do you depart? When do you want to arrive?
And yet, people say, all the time, they want to “be rich” or “be famous” or “have more followers” or “be more successful.” Those aren’t destinations. If those are your goals, then you’re directionless, and you won’t get very far.
Answer the following about where you want to be, and then you’ll know which direction to travel:
- What does it look like?
- What does it feel like?
- What makes it better than where you are now?
- When you get there, what will you do each day?
- How much time are you willing to invest in getting there?
- How many resources are you willing to invest?
- What are you willing to sacrifice in order to arrive?
- What’s keeping you out?
Once you know, specifically, where you are and where you want to be, a direction will present itself.
There’s distance between the two points. If there wasn’t it would just take a step, it wouldn’t be a journey.
Imagine the distance. Imagine the path. Answer the following:
- How’s the terrain?
- How’s the climate?
- What are the obstacles? Huge mountains, giant canyons?
- Where can you get support while traveling?
- How great is the distance?
- What will fuel you over that distance?
- Will there be enough fuel?
Figuring all this out might challenge your expectations. That’s good. You may end up heading in a direction you didn’t think you would. That’s both exciting and much better than not moving at all.
When you know where you are, where you’re going, and what the path between looks like your next steps will present themselves. Take those steps. Make progress. Have an adventure.