I saw the title of a book recently that made me laugh. It is called “If You Don’t Know Where You Are Going You Might End Up Somewhere Else.” I haven’t read it, but it made me think. You have to have an idea of where you want to be before you can get there. You can say you want to be successful, but that is way too vague. What does successful look like? How do you see yourself fitting into the picture? How do you start from where you are now and get to the picture you see? This process of discovery is true with most any endeavor.
Let’s take physical fitness for instance. Say you have gone to the gym and you see someone who looks like you want to look. You have that end picture of what successful looks like. Now you can do your homework and figure out how much you are going to have to work out and diet to reach that goal. All the time knowing, they didn’t get there overnight and neither will you. You are now a work in progress.
This may sound like a strange statement, but I am glad that I am a work in progress. In most every area. Sure, it would be nice to be perfect, but there was only one man I know of that was…and I ain’t him. I look in the mirror and I see potential and setback, promise and frustration, the desire to be better and the fear of getting worse. Many times it is two steps forward and that many back, but over time I am progressing. It has been slow at times, but I keep moving forward. Get knocked down, get back up. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
I am almost embarrassed to admit that I am only now figuring out who I really am and what I call successful. I thought I had it figured out at 18. Yeah, right. (Regarding what I knew as a teenager, I think of the Mark Twain quote, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”) I had flashes of it during my 20s, but that wasn’t much better. Now in my 30s I am beginning to see things more clearly. I know now though that I don’t have to have everything figured out. I have to do the best with what God has given me and keep moving towards the goals I have set.
Do you know where you are headed? What does success look like in your life? How are you going to get there?
3 thoughts on “If you don’t know where you are going…”
I felt pretty certain I knew where I was headed before I had my son. I was going to go back to school for medicine–likely as a Nurse Practitioner, since law school debt didn’t cause me to look too kindly upon med school’s even heavier debt–and spend my life in a healing profession.
When I saw that little “+” I felt like life was over. But it’s true that when G-d plans, people laugh. Two years later, I look back on all the plans I had before then and think, Someday, maybe. But for now? What I want is to open that bedroom door at 6 a.m. every morning and say, “Is my son in here? I heard someone who sounds like my son!” and have that little boy happily shout, “Mama!”
I’m not sure yet where this new road is leaving, but my plan is to enjoy its every sweet step. 🙂
I love the twists and turns that come with life. You think you have it planned and a divine curve ball gets thrown your way. Getting to be a dad has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of my life. If I never get to some of the plans I had years ago because I am busy being this little guys dad, so be it. I love it!
Seconding everything in your comment, only replacing “dad” with “mom.” That’s true even on days like this, where it’s all grumbles all the time! 🙂