We’ve all heard the saying, “You have to know where you’ve been, to know where you’re going”. Well, I’d like to play with that saying a bit and say, “You have to know where you’re going to know how to get there.”
Simply stated that may sound painfully evident but how many times in life do you start moving towards something without even really knowing the destination. Or even worse, wake up and move throughout our day with no direction at all.
I have a friend that used to have an old clunker of a car that he would drive with the petal to the medal. He would floor it at 80 mph and most of the time had no idea where he was going. It would be agony trying to caravan with him, because trying to follow him was impossible. He would drive fast and directionless which would result in the rest of the group getting lost. What happens to both humans and cars when they move fast without a sense of direction? It burns up energy, wastes time and leaves you lost, confused and frustrated.
Consciously, no one wants to go through life like that.
It’s important to know where you are in your life, to have a starting point, or a “Your Are Here” Star or arrow on a map. Just like that “You Are Here” arrow on a map, you’re able to see where you are in relation to the circumstances that surround you. In addition to knowing where you are, it’s good to know where you’re going. Now, don’t get me wrong, one of my favorite quotes is “It’s all about the journey, not the destination”. I put a huge emphasis on the journey. The only problem with that is you have no real idea on where to set out on your journey without determining a Destination and that is why knowing the destination so important.
Just like on a map, when you pinpoint what your destination is, what do you do? You trace that finger right back to where your “You are Here” arrow is. That is the magic and function of determining your destination, if for no other reason than to work backwards to figure out what your immediate next steps have to be to get you there.
Now, a caveat to this is the journey may carry you to places you hadn’t planned and that’s a beautiful thing. Don’t feel nervous or frustrated, embrace the newness as it arises. When your journey seems to be leading in a different direction you have two options, enjoy the journey and redirect your steps to make sure you end up at the destination you originally planned for, or enjoy and the journey and pick a new destination that your journey seems to be carrying you on. Do not get discouraged if you destination changes, it’s more of a guide, a beacon if you will, directing your steps, allow it to change as your circumstance evolves naturally.
For example, when I first moved to L.A. I was working in public relations and marketing. I always love to have a volunteer project to be involved in so I immediately began my research trying to find the perfect fit. While I normally work homeless populations, moving to a new city made me want to try something new. Why not volunteer with at risk youth? I always felt that the upcoming generations are in need of so much mentorship, but I figured I was not the one to give it. I was scared of kids especially street smart teenagers. However, I went ahead and approached several organizations and even had to apply to many just to volunteer. Most places said I had no experience working with that population and therefore could not be of service.
To gain experience I started reading up and studying behavior and issues that affect this group labeled “at risk”. I continued to apply through my first year living in L.A. until one day I get a packet in the mail from one of the first organizations I had made and inquiry with. Turns out it was Tyra Banks’, Tzone, who at the time had a summer camp. I went in for the interview (no experience and all) and I got an opportunity to be a camp counselor for a summer! That experience changed my life. I became deeply passionate about working with adolescent females and inspired by the camp experience. To this day, I have plans in the works for starting my own camp for teen girls and that continues to be a driving passion for everything I do.
Starting out, I was beginning a long career in PR and marketing, but after my side volunteering took over my heart, that completely changed the course of my life. To me this was a welcomed change. I saw how my 5 year and 10 year plans had to do with making money and getting a better title every year. Sure, that looks good on paper, but how fulfilled would heart & soul be? That is the question you need to ask yourself when your course changes and is no longer headed towards the destination you set out to reach. Did the course change because you are not focused or did it changed because you are listening to the cry of your heart and it’s telling you that you need to change your destination?
It’s a fluid organic experience, this life, and it’s wonderful. The function of a destination is something that keeps you from being pushed and pulled by every wind that hits your sails. You aren’t sailing aimlessly on the sea, you are moving through life with purpose, flexibility and always, determination.
So what is your destination? What are the first steps you are going to take to get there?
Have you ever set on a journey determined to reach one destination, only to find that your course changed over time? What was your experience?
Let me know below!
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