Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Where Do You Want To Go?

Cheshire-Puss,”… said Alice, “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.”

— Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”–

There are so many people like Alice. They wander around knowing they want something different, but they just move from one thing to the next without much thought. These Wanderers may come across their own Cheshire cats who are more than willing to share “their own” advice.

Person “A” says, “Well, if I were you, I would.”

The wanderer, trusting this person, takes person A’s advice with little thought on their own. Eventually finds this does not fit what the wanderer prefers. So on to person B. Then books C through E. Magazine article F. Persons G, H, I and J. And on and on and. Well, you get the picture.

Related to the wanderers are those who will just sit and wait and wait until either the mood strikes them or until someone “tells” them what to do. “Couch potatoes” are not really lazy. They will work their tails off on things they like or what people have asked of them. They just want everything ready to go before they “have” to do anything.

Then there are those who had an idea of what they wanted. They got started in a direction and began to make decent progress. Then they started “searching” for that one thing that would make all the difference in their lives. Maybe it’s a different job, or an additional project or a new accessory they must have.

They thought “this” will make them happier or at least be the push they need to get moving into what they truly want. Sometimes it worked, but mostly it only became more of a distraction and only led to more and more searching.

We have all been in each of these areas at one point of our lives or another.

We’ve been wanderers, asking others what we should do, what would be good for us, looking for hints into what choices we need to make to bring us the happiest of all possible lives.

We’ve been couch potatoes sitting back “thinking” about things waiting for just the right moment “I’ll begin doing what I want once the kids are grown up or once the car is paid off, or when the planets are aligned. Boy, will I start living then.”

And we’ve been searchers. At points in our lives, we’ve had ideas as to what we needed to do. But we saw different things we along the way. “I need that new computer,” or “I need to buy that book so I could do a better job,” or we find more projects to get into. “One of these has to be what makes the difference.”

Of these different ways of living that seem to lead us no where except around in circles, they have one other thing in common: A lack of a “chosen direction.”

Without a destination, we wander. We may get to see a lot of things, but nothing that will keep us going. Without a destination, we wait. We think it is for the best, but we pass up so much more this way. And without a destination, we search. We look around for signs pointing us somewhere better, but they’re are more like detours keeping us further from anything we would have been.

So, the time has come once again to plan what we will do next year. It’s time for each of us to pick a destination and get started on a dream journey.

After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up… somewhere else.

And no one should end up there by accident.

2002 David Stoddard

David Stoddard is a writer and emerging motivational
speaker. His free weekly newsletter “Que Sera Sera” is
available on his website. Visit him online:

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