Has your path in life left you sort of walking around aimlessly? I confess to feeling that way lately myself. So I’m sharing another of my erstwhile “Weekly Messages” that I used to write at work. At that time I knew where I was “walking,” even if I might feel a tad aimless right now. So here’s a dose of my own advice that I’m giving myself, and sharing with you.
When Lewis Carroll wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” I think he had some insight into plotting a path, whether in life or at work. Take a look at this conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
In other words, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there — and “there” just might turn out to be a place where you do not want to be. Plus you might have to do a lot of “walking” to get to that place where you’d really rather not be. People have to take a moment to look at where they are and where they want to be. Or else they run the risk of overlooking opportunities, spinning their wheels, and never having any control over their own destiny.
Some people are blessed in such a way that great opportunities seem to simply come to them. The rest of us have to make our own opportunities, develop skills and experience ourselves, and otherwise get ourselves qualified for the jobs we want. However, we can take a great sense of accomplishment in forging our own destinies. Take the initiative. It’s all up to you. Nobody can do it for you.
The first step to plotting your path is knowing what you want – where you want to go. After that, step outside the box. Step beyond what’s required of you. You might volunteer for something, officially or simply helping your friends. It can give you the chance to do something different, and so create a new skill or interest. Create your own path. Find your own way of benefiting your employer, your community, your friends — and therefore yourself, in whatever way you can.
Keep your eyes open for the opportunities that brings. You might not recognize them right away, because coming from new things, they won’t look the way you expect. So don’t miss out on opportunities.
Now don’t get me wrong – nobody said it’s easy. Establishing your path (or changing it for that matter) is hard work. If you want to make a really big change, or huge progress, you’ll most likely have to make sacrifices. However, isn’t it worth hard work? Isn’t it worth (temporarily) giving up some of the things you like, if it lets you take charge of your destiny? Isn’t it worth it if you can spend your efforts doing things that you enjoy — things that make you smile with a big Cheshire grin?