A simple question with a complex answer
Where do I want to go?
It sounds like an easy enough question to answer. But it depends on the context.
I’m hoping figuring out where to go for brunch is more straightforward than working out where you want to go in your life. Ha-ha, although I do love a good brunch, so spending time on that choice is reasonable in my book.
But, taking time to plan for bigger things, such as ‘where do I want to go in my life?’ does warrant more time and serious thought.
When is the last time you made a plan for your life?
I like to do this every couple of years. As life moves on, I change and grow. What was important to me a few years ago is not as meaningful now. Which is why it is good to revisit the life plan every now and then.
The thing is, deciding where I want to go in life is a BIG question. It can be difficult to answer if you are coming at it cold.
Which is why I like to answer another question before I begin.
The question is…
Where do I want to go?
And this time, it is about holiday choices.
You see, I feel thinking about destinations to travel to, and activities and purpose for the destination to be much easier to brainstorm. It sets a creative flow of thoughts and ideas and possibilities.
I like to take time with my husband and we both, separately, prepare a list of places we want to go in say, the next five years. Then we compare lists, and the places we have both identified as the ones we prioritise for the coming years.
But the other benefit, apart from dreaming up some wonderful holidays, is that it starts us thinking more about life in general.
For example, when I recently prepared my list it made me realise how much my ideal holiday destinations are nature-based. I want to experience holidays where I am driving along a coastline or relaxing by the beach.
How does this help?
This pattern made me realise that in my usual life, the one when I am not on holiday, I would like to spend more time going to the beach. In fact, I would like to live by the beach.
The simple act of listing out dream holiday destinations starts a flow of ideas about how can life be better all year round, not just on an annual or bi-annual holiday.
This stream of thoughts then leads to ideas about the bigger question of where do I want to go in life. There is the balance between enjoying life in the moment – and regularly during our every day life each week. Balanced with building to a bigger and brighter future that we can enjoy over the years.
The thing is, this does not happen unless we take some time to work on it.
It reminds me of the interaction between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland:
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
When we don’t plan for our future, the future will happen anyway. We have a choice. Do we want to be somewhere? Or do we want to be where we want to be? We’ve got to figure it out. We can figure it out.
Give it a go. Take some time to answer ‘where do I want to go?’ Start by figuring out some places you would like to travel, and the experiences you would like to enjoy as part of that. Then, you will be ready to answer the bigger question of ‘where do I want to go in life?’
And then, reward yourself with a lovely brunch somewhere nice 😊 You have earned it.