You Can’t Get There From Here

Unless you do this one thing first

Awesome image courtesy of mohamed hassan via Pixabay

The words, “you can’t get there from here” are a stock response in certain parts of the US if you ask someone for directions, and they don’t know the answer. Or they do know the answer but what they mean is its going to be a lot of trouble for you to get there.

Either way, it’s kind of an odd response.

In other parts of your life, though, these words take a on a whole new meaning.

Lots of people write about goals and plans and motivation and measurable progress and all kinds of stuff. Many times they skip over the most important parts of attaining anything in life at all.

The end — that is the goal you want.

The beginning — where you are right now.

How you get to the end from the beginning is your plan.

As an astute reader, you will see that in order to get anywhere at all, you need to know where you are right now.


Say, for instance, you wanted to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That’s located in Cleveland Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie. Now if you were at the present moment located in downtown Cleveland looking at your GPS for directions, your path to get to the museum would be one thing.

But if you were living in Lisbon, Portugal, for instance, your journey to Cleveland would be entirely different.

Goal setting is an important part of life, no doubt about it. I have personally changed my entire life through the use of organized goal setting. It works and it works well.

However, I would be remiss if I said it made no difference where you start from — because it does.

Maybe you would like to be a wealthy philanthropist supporting causes and projects which needed financial assistance.

If you were already wealthy, and all you needed was a list of places that could use some help, that would be one thing.

But if you were currently working as the person who maintains the software patches on the robot that cooks the French fries at your local burger restaurant, that would be quite a different place to start from.

In fact, I believe it is possible for anyone to attain almost any kind of goal and I believe they can achieve their goal, no matter where they start out from.

But you have to know where you are right now and where you are going.

What stops people most often from attaining their goals is not that their goals are unrealistic. It’s that they are unwilling to accept where they are starting from.

Knowing where you are beginning from is not a hindrance to getting what you want. Because you do NOT have to stay where you are.

I’m going to write that again and give that bold Medium formatting because it is really important.

You do NOT have to stay where you are.

You simply need to accept where you are, so you can make your plan to get to where you want to be.

In the example of getting to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the person who is already in Cleveland and just needs to turn left in 100 feet is not going to be helped much by trying to follow the path of the person from Lisbon.

The paths are equally valid; both work for different people.

The awesome ending quote from Lewis Carroll writing in Alice in Wonderland:

Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”