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A piece of advice I like but hold lightly is to start with the end in mind. On the surface, it’s hard to argue with the logic, after all you need to know your destination in order to plan a route there. Simple. But is it? 

As a life coach, I often have the privilege of sitting with clients as they envision the life they want and start to put in place small or large changes that lead there. 

However, just as often, I sit with people who don’t yet know exactly how they are going to get where they want to go, or even the exact destination. ‘I want to help people,’ they might say, or it might be a transition towards less responsibility and more time… for what? For whatever comes next.

As comforting as it is to be in the know about what our lives hold, to start with the end in mind isn’t always possible.

Really, how much does this matter? 

In the midst of the information overload that is everybody’s life, the last thing we need to do is put extra pressure on ourselves to pin something down that isn’t clear, or to add lack of clarity about long term goals to our list of personal shortcomings.

If you’re doing that right now then please STOP.

The crux of the matter is that sometimes a goal comes to us fully formed and precise in its detail and just as often it doesn’t. 

When the latter occurs I like to remember a quote attributed to E. L. Doctorow familiar to creatives which compares writing, a fiendishly difficult thing, to driving at night: you can only see what the headlights illuminate but you can make the whole trip that way.

On the occasions our lives are like a night time drive, mysterious and not entirely known, we too can get to our destination in a similar way. Like a car’s headlights on an outback highway, we do this by focussing our attention on what is in front of us and making the next right move.

So next time you’re not sure, ask yourself, ‘what is the next right step I need to take?’ and be confident that by continuing to ask this you will get where you want to go.