“You are not going nowhere just because you haven’t gotten where you want to go yet.”
I never thought I would ever use a Taylor Swift quote … let alone use it to make a point.
I loved the quote.
And it sparked me to thinking because if you think about it … not getting to where you want to be and … well … nowhere … can look awfully similar.
But it is not.
Not even close.
Getting somewhere … whether it be in your career … in Life … in personal change … in a relationship … in anything … sometimes seems to dominate our Life. This destination … this ‘thing’ we have envisioned in our mind becomes sort of a measurement with regard to how we are effectively, or ineffectively, living our life. And in doing so if we are somewhere other than ‘there’ … which may mean we simply just haven’t got there yet … a lot of people suggest that means you are nowhere.
That is wrong.
Very very <very> wrong.
I sometimes think this is a reflection of what is wrong in today’s society.
This whole belief that if you haven’t achieved something you have achieved nothing.
Most of Life is a reflection of a shitload of journeys and paths and … well … a lot of walking, running, tripping and crawling. And because of that a shitload of people would suggest that most of your life you have been running in place <which sounds silly as I type it> or ‘wandering aimlessly <which also sounds silly as I type it because … well … most times most people are wanting to get to where they want to be> and basically they are suggesting that … well … you have expended energy and got nowhere.
99% of the time those people are just assholes.
Assholes who focus on destinations and not journeys. They only take satisfaction in highlighting their own specific milestones, objectives and outcomes achieved <and judge everyone else on the exact same criteria>.
They struggle to see the satisfaction in exploration, wandering and the journeys taken to the outcomes.
I am not going to suggest achieving something, specifically, “getting to where you want to be” is not an admirable and useful objective. Because it is. Getting to where you want to be is aspirational and it implies you want to be better than what you are today. Being better and becoming better is something all of us should embrace.
But I will suggest that simply because you have not got there yet that you have gone nowhere.
In fact, I could argue that simply deciding where you want to be is somewhere.
In fact, doing something … even something small … is better than nothing and is something other than nowhere.
Here is the bottom line.
I would guess 90% of us are somewhere other than where we want to be. We may see glimpses of it and we may actually have touched it briefly … but most of us are still in the midst of getting there.
<to complete that equation I envision 5% don’t even try having given up and 5% believe they are there>
90% of us are certainly not ‘nowhere.’
We are simply works in progress trying to get somewhere better than who and what we are today.
That means suggesting just because you haven’t got to where you wanted to be is ‘nowhere’ would mean that 90% of us are milling about in some wretched space of nothingness … and that is silly. Most of us are pretty happy and fairly content and typically thinking about being better.
While I imagine Ms. Swift doesn’t philosophize on this thought as I have … she has certainly embraced her responsibility & empowerment to communicate the right things to hordes of young people. And for that I applaud her. I do so not only because she is impacting young people’s minds in a good smart way but because there are a boatload of older people who have been gobsmacked into believing if you haven’t got to where you want to be that you are nowhere … and they tell a shitload of people that.
Embracing an ‘outcome is the most important’ Life philosophy is a slippery slope. You run a significant risk in losing perspective of what is important in day to day living Life.
I would much rather we embrace a “just because you have not got to where you want to be does not necessarily mean you are nowhere” Life philosophy.
You can embrace both but if you begin with the latter you are more likely to not only encourage the right behavior in people you will most likely encourage a more positive view of your own Life.