It’s an ecclesiastical Latin phrase meaning Where are you going?
That is the $64,000 question for everything we say and do, isn’t it?
I think about this question – all the time – in conducting my professional and personal affairs. Before engaging in a project, starting a conversation, or resolving a conflict, I stop and ask myself two basic questions:
- What is the desired outcome I wish to achieve? and,
- What am I willing to do to achieve this desired outcome?
Seems simple enough.
But the simplicity of these two questions belies their fundamental analytical nature. Because, if you can’t articulate an answer for either of these two questions, then you should immediately stop whatever you’re doing, and reconsider your course of action.
I see total a lack of this type of analysis happening, over and over and over again.
Projects are started, with a massive budget, but no strategy or even anything approaching a “look of success.” Engagements are commenced with no articulation of benchmarks, milestones, or firm deliverables.
Relationships are started, with no set boundaries, and no endgame in sight.
There’s a scene from Alice in Wonderland that demonstrates this folly quite well:
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don’t know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn’t matter.
The Cheshire Cat is right. If you don’t know where you’re going, then it really doesn’t matter what road you take.
There are few things in life more disappointing, than realizing that all your time and energy have been wasted on the wrong objective; that you’ve been following the wrong path. Or, that you simply didn’t have the stomach to do what it takes to reach your goal.
Decide, first, where you’re going, and what it will take to get you there. Make the journey matter.
Go, and be you.