“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
~The Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland
I’ve found that statement to be true in my own life in years past. Early on I didn’t have real, specific goals. Sure, I had some like, earn money, have fun, and be happy, but those aren’t very concrete. They’re much too vague to be useful and didn’t give me any direction with regard to how I would go about achieving them.
As a result, I found that I wasn’t really focused in my career pursuits and personal goals. I lacked direction as to where I wanted to go and how I would go about getting there. Life was ok, but I wasn’t intentionally going anywhere specific. I would take jobs that came along instead of actively pursuing opportunities that helped move me closer to a destination or goal I had intentionally set. I felt like a leaf that had fallen in a creek and was being carried downstream in a gently tumbling current. Life was fine. It wasn’t bumpy or turbulent, but it wasn’t great either.
It makes sense, right? How can we know what path, opportunity, or direction is best for us if we don’t know where it is we want to go?
It wasn’t until I began spending time thinking about what direction I wanted to take my life that I started to get a sense of where I intentionally wanted to go. It was exciting as I realized the unintentional path I was on would no longer do.
In January of 2011, as part of this thinking process, I began journaling. It is a discipline I have stuck with ever since. For me, journaling has been one of the most productive and rewarding undertakings of my life. It is a great way to dive into your mind and engage yourself with questions like: “What do I want out of life? What’s really important to me? What am I good at? What am I excited about? Where do I want to be next year at this time? How do I want my life to look now and in the future? Where am I going?” The questions you can ask yourself are endless, but they all start to bring clarity to your thinking when you put pencil or pen to paper and begin truthfully answering them. Journaling helped me gain a clear picture of where I want to go, what I wanted out of life. It has even helped me identify the steps needed to move me toward the new goals I have set for myself.
Have you ever been unsure of exactly where it is you want to go in life? Do you feel that way now? If so, I encourage you to give journaling a try. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need an agenda. Rather just write your thoughts down as they come to your mind, and write down your reactions to them. Don’t worry if your thoughts are jumping all over the pace. Just follow the train of thought with your pencil and see where they lead.
Commit to journaling for 30 days, or set a goal of writing for 10 minutes 3 times a week for a month. Cause something to happen by simply starting. You will be amazed at the clarity and motivation you’ll gain.