Continuing-ed Newsletter
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 Alice and Chesire Cat

“Would you tell me, please sir, which way I ought to walk 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 walk,” said the Cat, “any road will take you there!”

Purposeless, passionless Alice is wondering around with no direction, no focus. If you remember, she is quite bored when the story begins.

What about your life and career? Where are you NOW on your life journey?

In the last issue we explored Alice’s adventure through the lens of life purpose. Deciding and knowing your life purpose unleashes the energy to get up in the morning and be the best you can. Motivation is never an issue when you are living and acting on purpose. Without purpose life seems to be meaningless. Many people look to food, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. in hopes of stirring their inner energy only to be disappointed when the high has worn off.

My experience as a trainer and coach to thousands of people informs me that there comes a point in most people’s life when they have lost their passion. Each morning dread begins with the alarm clock and continues through the day merely trying to get through day after day until the paycheck comes and it all starts again.

What happened? LIFE many would say. It is as if we live in a universe of randomness and purposeless with no clear inner direction. All that we do is directed to coping, and pleasing others, not rocking the boat.

As humans we are exquisite learning machines. But have you merely learned to react and respond in order to be safe and secure?

There is an alternative – learning to create! Creating a life of purposefulness and meaning with connection to communities that support and uplift us as we work to create a better world enables us to beat the alarm clock doldrums and gets us out of bed with excitement rather than dread.

Purposefulness creates a sense of direction. From there we can create and pursue meaningful goals to activate and achieve that purpose.

These two elements – purposefulness and meaningful goals – are the stuff of living a creative meaningful and fulfilled life.

When Alice meets the Cheshire cat the answer she gets is as absurd as her sense of purpose and direction. When she responds to the cat’s question of where she wants to go she responds, “I don’t care much.” Notice her lack of motivation and purpose. “Any road will take you there,” is the answer. Without a sense of inner direction or purpose it doesn’t matter. You’ll end up somewhere. But where? How characteristic is this of how you feel?

When speaking about direction and goals, I’m not referring to the demands of your boss, your job, your family and expectations that others put on you. I am referring to your own sense of purpose and passion living a creative well sculpted life that represents the indelible mark you want to leave on this planet.

What’s your “there?”

In my coaching practice, my clients initially show up with their problems and current challenges they may be stuck with. Alternatively, they may know what they want to create, but stuck on how to do it. During the initial phase working to clarify their purpose and from there set goals I am amazed at the transformation in who they become with clarity, commitment, focus, and motivation.


"When you come to a fork in the road - take it! "  - Yogi Berra Is Alice's dilemma anything like you?

"A goal is a planned conflict with the status quo."  - Alex McKenzie  No wonder so many people avoid them!

 "People with goals succeed because they know where they're going."   - Earl Nightingale


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Ed Caldwell
Productive Learning Systems, Inc