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.”
~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
One of the funniest thing about growing up is deciding what you want to be when you get there. There is often a “where” attached to it as well.
“I want to be an astronaut.”
“I want to run a coffee plantation.”
“I want to be an actor in (H/B)ollywood.”
“I want to play first base for the New York Yankees.”
My plan was simple – “Got no clue.” As a result, I’ve been so many things. But, we are not just one thing, are we? We are so many things. Many of those things may even run contrary to the other.
Having four older brothers, in many ways, made it even more difficult. But, I remember sitting one day with my father. I was about 13 years old. He asked me what I wanted to become when I “grew up.”
I had no answer.
Then he asked me what was it that I loved. Apart from “you and Mom,” I had no answer.
He told me that was the question I had to figure out as I got older. That is what I needed to chase after. That is what would define my success.”If you do what you love,” he said, “you’ll be so good at it that you’ll do it happily. You’ll do it because you want to do it. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Not as easy as it sounds. It took me my entire life. That is because life is not static. Things change. I’ve had to shift, adjust and reconsider based on the dynamic around me. But, that too, was part of the answer.
But, there is a very first step you must take. And, it is mandatory. I keep on asking myself over and over. I’ve needed clarification in things both big and small. But, what if I get it wrong? What do I do then? Well, I did not get a warranty with my choices. There is no “money back guarantee.” But, in order to get there, I need to know what I wanted as a result before I set off.
So, I needed to ask myself the Cheshire cat’s question – “Where do you want to go?”