Any Road Will Take You There
When you find yourself at a crossroads and you’re not sure where you want to go next, any road can take you there. But where is there? To live the life you want, I offer four things you can do to move in the direction of your dreams.
My son came to visit me recently, and while he was here, we had the best conversations. The kind of conversations you can’t have through text messaging or FaceTime. There’s just nothing like being in the room with someone and feeling the proximate connection. We talked about life, relationships, and career. My son finds himself at crossroads in his career and a relationship, and they are impacting his views on life, where he is now and where he wants to be in the future.
I asked my son what he wants, and repeatedly he answered that he wasn’t sure. I shared how important it is to gain clarity because only then can we direct our actions toward where we want to be. Otherwise, we can find ourselves feeling stuck or directionless.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the conversations we had and how true it is that so many people feel their lives are at a standstill or that they are going around in circles without ever really progressing. They feel stuck in relationships that are toxic or that no longer serve them. They are meandering in dead-end jobs that are unfulfilling, swimming upstream in a sea of debt, stuck in unhealthy patterns. And I thought about what can be done to get unstuck. Certainly, there is no single answer and depending on the reason for a person’s logjam, there may be several things required to get on with life in a positive direction.
But I keep coming back to this one thing. Direction. Having a sense of where you want to be or where you want to go is essential to getting out of the quagmire of stuckness.
In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice has an exchange with the Cheshire Cat. She asks the Cat where she should go from here. The Cat replies it depends on where she wants to go. Alice doesn’t know and doesn’t care, so long as she gets somewhere. From that exchange, we get the famous quote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
Too many people are like Alice. They know they aren’t happy with where they are, but they haven’t decided where they want to go. They don’t have a destination in mind. No goals they commit themselves to and follow through on. No direction. They stall. When utterly frustrated or desperate, they may take some action, but even that is short-lived because they don’t know where they’re going or what success looks like. Movement does not equal progress. Activity is not the same as productivity. We know this. What is needed is direction, clarity, determination, and conviction.
How to Get Unstuck
If you are at a crossroads in one or more areas of your life – and you want to get unstuck, here are four things you can do:
- Create a visual map of what you want or where you want to be. That may mean identifying the type of work you see yourself being happy doing. Or creating a mental and emotional picture of a healthy relationship. Or, seeing yourself out of debt.
- Set the direction from your starting place. Once you have a vision of what you want and where you want to be, then evaluate where you are in relationship to your desired destination. Identify what it will take for you to move closer to your destination. If you want a job or career change, does it require re-skilling? If you see yourself free of financial stress, do you need to talk with a financial advisor or create a budget? Having direction gives you focus, a course of action or a path that moves you closer to where you want to be or the life you want to have.
- Move toward your destination. It’s true, movement doesn’t equal progress, especially if the movement is aimless. However, directed movement can be motivating and productive. Establish reasonable milestones and seek a coach, family member or an accountability partner who will encourage you to keep going.
- Celebrate every success, especially the small ones. Small wins build self-belief and confidence over time. You’ll start to realize that you have the agency and ability to create the life, career, relationships, or financial position you want.
You may encounter setbacks along the way, days when you question yourself or fall back into unhelpful thoughts or actions. The remedy is to return to your visual map. See yourself living the life you envisioned. Check your course and adjust if necessary. Talk to your accountability partner. Take one step forward. Any small step in the direction of your destination is still forward progress. Celebrate what you have already accomplished and let that inspire you to carry on.
The truth is, we will all feel stuck or lost sometime in our lives. We can relate to Alice. But when we gain clarity and direction, we feel our lives have meaning and purpose. We live the life we dare to live, the life we want and deserve.
Thanks for reading and being a part of the Your Aha! Life Global Community. I hope you found this article helpful, and that if you are feeling stuck, you will try the four actions above to move in the direction of the life you want. Please share this article with anyone you know who is feeling their life is at a standstill. Thank you.
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With love and authenticity,
Learn My Story