There is a piece in Alice in Wonderland which goes something like this. “Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
I must quote that excerpt several times a week. It strikes me as being really relevant. So many people get stuck and are unable to make a decision because they have lost sight, if indeed they ever had sight, of where they are going, of what they want to create.
Life and business are both about thousands of decisions made every day. Often, they are made unconsciously or apparently automatically. If we are not certain about where we are going, how can the decisions we make ever be the right ones?
The plaque on my wall which proclaims that ‘clarity is power’ speaks to this fact. If we are very clear about where we want to go, about where our end goal is; if we are very clear about how to get there, there is a very good chance that we will, indeed, get there. If we don’t know where we are going, we will, in all probability, end up somewhere else.
Stephen Covey urged us ‘to begin with the end in mind’. It was the second of his seven habits. If we know what the end that we have in mind is, it is relatively straightforward to reverse engineer the best way to get there. If we don’t know the end that we have in mind it is impossible.
So how clear are we about what it is that we are trying to do, about where we want to arrive, about what the end that we have in mind? My personal experience is that, generally, we aren’t at all clear.
There is an art, a skill in being able to take the intangibles of a dream and turn it into a destination that can generate a life and a business plan that will deliver the results that you want. If you don’t have a dream, if you don’t allow yourself to dream, how will you ever have a dream come true?
We can get involved in all sorts of highbrow thinking but Verne Harnish once said “There are two things you need to know about Strategy: where you want to be 20 years from now, and what you will be doing about it in the next 90 days” the thing is that if you don’t know where you want to be in 20 years’ time and what you need to be doing about it, the chances are that you aren’t going to get there. So what is the destination of choice for you, for your business and for your team?