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If You Don’t Know Where You Are Going, How Will You Get There?

A 4-step plan for answering a fundamental question and to get to where you want to go.




“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where —” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. – Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

THE QUESTION, “WHERE are you going?” is the most important and most difficult to answer. However, if we cannot answer it, we forfeit control of our career, practice, or life.

So, where are you going?

It is true that once you decide, the way forward will not be easy, but it will be worth it. Here are the steps to decide what you want and where you desire to go.

Self-reflection. When’s the last time you set aside time to reflect? It’s easy to skip this because it can be psychologically and emotionally challenging. Self-reflection requires honesty. However, taking 100% responsibility for your life and career is empowering. Be completely honest with yourself when deciding where you want to go. Once you have determined your destination, you can build a plan of action.


Create your plan. Action requires a plan. Many will wait until they are motivated to start, but the idea that action follows motivation is backward. Action creates motivation. It is the only way it works. Here are truths about creating your plan:

  • Your plan will not be perfect. That’s OK: With every mistake, you learn. You don’t have to be good at something to start; no one ever is. The people who master any skill all start out being bad. They get good through persistence.
  • Your plan will change; you must be flexible. Your destination doesn’t change, but your plan will.
  • Your plan creates momentum. Taking small steps can lead to a snowball effect.

Develop your skills. You must develop new skills to reach your destination. If you want a large myopia management practice, you need to know how to diagnose and treat those patients, communication skills to explain to parents the benefit. Constantly assess what new skills will equip you to reach your destination.

Consistency. Through regular routines, you develop habits, and habits drive behavior. Consistency of routine execution – both of purpose and action – that will lead you to your destination.


Monitoring and Evaluation. During your daily personal reflection, monitor your progress and evaluate if any changes are needed. This set of steps becomes a circle. Self-reflection leads to a plan of action. Action leads to growth in the needed skills. A plan of action consistently executed with new skills will move you in a direction. Monitoring and evaluating your progress through self-reflection will result in plan adjustment.

Of course, none of this is necessary if, like Alice, you don’t care where you are going. Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go. But you may not like the destination.


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