It’s such a fun story but such a heart breaking point — finding yourself in the middle of a story you no longer want to live. Perhaps the script or plan or purpose that was laid out for you worked for a season but now it’s time for you to live out of a plan, intent, design that’s a better fit. We get so caught up in the familiar routine, we lose sight of the fact that we can shift from this story.   

Getting started, a big first step, can feel monumental. If you’re looking to head down a new path, start by thinking through where you are right now. If I’m holding a map of Texas with plans to travel to San Antonio, the map won’t get me there unless I know my starting point.

Take stock of your current situation. Create a “I Am Here” gauge, like the dashboard on a car.  The gauges on a car tell us something — is there enough gas for the journey, is there oil in the engine, is the car running too hot. These gauges assist us in identifying what to take care of first.

When we want to design something new, finding the problem is part of the process. That sounds so easy. Unfortunately, more often than not we are working on the wrong problem. The identified problem in the video was a long trip in a small car. We solved that problem by breaking up the trip in two hour increments. A long trip in a small car turned out not to be the problem. If you are disinterested in mechanical engineering but you are working on the problem of raising your grades, you are solving the wrong problem. Creating a gauge or dashboard that identifies where you are in the area of health, work, play, love (or whatever categories you want to use as gauges) will reveal the flashing lights that need to be addressed.

After we assess where we are, accepting where we are is the next step. Just because I don’t want to be headed to San Antonio from DFW doesn’t mean I’m not. Knowing my starting point helps me evaluate the option of heading down I-35 or taking a more scenic, less stressful, longer route. Understanding that my joy gauge is on empty, pushes me to explore the question of what brings me joy. Seeing that what I am “doing” (work, school, volunteering) is leaving me empty, causes me to ask questions about what would fill my tank. Asking questions that move me to explore are the next best step.   

As you think about a new story, operating from a more intentional place, begin with where you are. It’s the only way to get there from here.