It has been weeks of intense planning and vision casting. But I think I’ve almost got it. I think to find out where you’re going you have to become very clear about where you are. That seems like an easy thing to identify. Where you are. You look around you and see your living room, or your corner office or your swimming pool overlooking the ocean and you think … “Oh! This is where I am.” But that is not where you are. That is just one symptom of it. “Where you are” is made up of a whole host of things. It’s what your dreams are made of at that very moment. What your hopes are—not only for yourself but for those you love. What your talents are. Your fears. Your challenges and the things between you and where you want to be. Which tools you need and which you have already. How you feel, how strong you are. There are dozens of components that make up “where you are.” And they all need to be excavated and explored and identified in order to determine how to begin. So that’s where I’ve been the past few weeks. Getting very clear about my next steps. I think it’s easy to toss up some random goals and think that’s the place to start. Maybe you’re bored or you know you have a certain talent or gift you need to use or you just need to get some sort of motion going in order to feel like you’re not standing still. Being useful. All those things that make you feel busy. But it takes a lot more than that to feel fulfilled. Fulfillment comes from being on the right path. No matter how easy or hard. How big or small. How extravagant or plain. The only thing that matters is that it’s right. And to know whether it’s right is something you have to work for. So that’s what I’ve been up to. Through journaling and reading and reflection and brainstorming, I’ve navigated my way to what feels like the beginning of setting my feet upon a path that feels right. If I look ahead I see a road that looks a little rough. And likely a long one too. And in truth it’s not too extravagant. A lot of writing. A lot of thinking. Hopefully a lot of living too and all of that—however unimpressive—took time to figure out. Rumi, one of my favorite poets, wrote “Why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open?” I think the answer to that is most of us don’t realize our prison is made of little more than the distance we put between us and ourselves. That sounds a little weird, I know. But we spend so much time ignoring our deepest thoughts. Batting away those pesky reminders that we have dreams. Too busy to spend time getting familiar with what we want for our future. That’s our prison. And it’s made of nothing more than air. It’s imagined. So I’ve spent time dismantling my imaginary prison and I intend to bust out of here in a few days and run toward a very complex life made up of several deferred dreams and one or two brand new ones straight out of the box. And I encourage you to do the same. Because no matter where you’d like to be you can get there from wherever you are. You just have to know where that is first. And takes a lot less looking outward and lot more time looking in.