How Do I Get Where I Want To Go?
Where does the road go?
In fact, it does not go. It is.
You, on the other hand, have the ability to go where you like. If you know where you want to go, and if the road will get you there, then by all means follow it.
But first you have to know where you want to go. I find that it means I have to be able to articulate it. If I cannot say where I want to go, then I do not know.
In my professional life, I have always articulated what I wanted to happen. In doing so, I was able to call the end result into sight, and I could see the path toward it. Sometimes I envisioned the shortest path; other times, not so much. But I have always tried to work backward from a desired end state. I knew I wanted to be a college professor. I plotted the ideal path, working backwards from that goal, to where I started.
So also with my important personal relationships. If we are able to say what we mean to each other, and how we intend to live our lives so that those relationships have integrity, we will, more likely than not, be able to have relationships that thrive, even in stormy times. When you say you have worked for a relationship, what you really mean is that you determined from the start what it needed to be, and you worked backward from the desired end state to make it happen.
But how about our physical goals? Are we able to articulate what we want to happen, and then work backward in a reasoned way to ensure that we make it happen?
Or do we look for a path that got someone to a place, and follow that path? No matter that we aren’t starting where that person did. No matter that the path ill suits our footwear, or our fitness. No matter that it leads where the other person wanted to go, no matter that the end is approximate, or maybe not, to what we want.
As I come to the end of an interesting year, I have to be accountable for that year. Some good things happened. I got stronger—a lot stronger. I got faster, running my fastest 200 meters in five years. I did two powerlifting competitions and learned a lot about a new sport. I stayed healthy.
In terms of a path, I landed on a new one, but I didn’t really go anywhere. On the new path, these nice things happened, but I didn’t go anywhere. It’s like when I was a kid, growing up on a farm in rural Kentucky. There were woods on our property, and I would go back and get as lost as I could. I would spend hours “generally” aware of where I was.
This past year I was generally aware of what I was doing, and where I was going. It helped that I had training partners and a coach. The phrase “trust the process” took the place of a roadmap and a goal. At one point, Jeff said, “Let’s see if you like the sport. You might not.”
But I did. And it had amazing effects on my other sport.
So what do I do now? Where do I want to be? How do I build the road to there?