How does this question hit you? A large percentage of people who are asked about where they are in their lives, point to their mistakes and failures. They cannot describe where they are, but they can identify negatives as the reason they have arrived in the place in which they find themselves. The reasons why are too numerous to list, but here are a few: impatience, lack of self-understanding, false beliefs, bad counsel, and poor choices. Are those enough to get the conversation going?
"How did I get here?" is the wrong question. You cannot correct whatever it was that got you to where you do not want to be; you cannot change the past. Some people say you can learn from the past as to what you should not do going forward. Think about how negative it is to live your life so you don't make the same mistake again. Living a defensive existence will keep you from living an offensive expectant life of wonder and fulfillment. It is like an organization that tries to correct its mistakes rather than focus on producing something that is truly valuable and worthwhile. Trying to turn a weakness into strength takes too much energy and personal resource.
The real question is, "Where are you going? What is the object or destination of your life and work?" WOW, now those are confounding questions to get in the way of your "to do" list for today. What good is a "to do" list, if there is no direction to the outcome? Just do and do and do in hopes that you will discover a direction in the midst of all of your doing. Jason had a very busy life full of things to get done, however, the list never ended. He worked as hard as he could but the list generated more "to dos;" and eventually, Jason just quit. For many, it is called retirement, which is a term indicating a person has arrived at place of freedom. Most find no freedom, just another time to accumulate a list of things that multiply themselves without purpose. It is called Parkinson's Law: Left to its own device work expands to fill the time provided! Junk expands to fill the space provided for the junk.
The answer to the question "Where are you going?" is buried in something that you are already doing. It is something that you will do today that brings you some joy and energy. Most people don't notice it because they are so caught up in other things. Today, become a little more reflective by asking yourself, "Where is my energy and joy coming from?" Tonight, go back and examine if anything you did today awakened something in you that gave you a moment of joy and satisfaction. It might take a couple of days to start the insights coming because you have buried your moments so deep in regret and fear that you are missing that something.
For all of us, no matter how far we are down or how far we are up, there is something that we do that gives us joy even if we don't recognize it. In organizations, there is something no matter how small or seemingly insignificant that works well and that works really well. In my work, I have discovered when people think about what they do really well without trying hard to do it, they begin discovering themselves. In this self-discovery and taking advantage of the opportunities that come, we can find the joy in the journey.