Cheshire Cat

Cheshire Cat

Cheshire Puss, she began ‘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

– so long as I get somewhere,’ Alice added as an explanation.

‘Oh, you are sure to do that,’ said the Cat, if you only walk long enough.’

(Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)

In the manner of all the firsts,
here’s the Cheshire Cat from my own pen

I reminisced with delight when I was recently called Cheshire Cat – my nickname among a select circle of friends, in a comment on my website. The first time I read the lines reproduced above in Lewis Carroll’s classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’, I don’t think I was much older than the protagonist in the story herself, and certainly no less wonder-struck.

Whether in the present dialogue or the one in which it says resignedly, We are all mad in here, as a young boy, it was my first brush with characters talking and behaving like ‘people’. I was then a complete stranger to the word anthropomorphism but not to the power of the concept it described.

I felt that boyish sense of wonder revived when years later, at Tata Steel (2000), Jamshedpur, I heard those lines again during a ‘millenium presentation’ made by Mr B Muthuraman (then Vice-President and later Managing Director of Tata Steel) as a part of the company’s millennium vision.

The magic was back. I read the book all over again, even more impressed by the wisdom of the Cheshire Cat. In all the incredible madness of the story, it stood out with its indomitable wit, wisdom and a wide grin, which would be all left after the cat had vanished. This grin once led Alice to remark: ‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin, but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!’

Its wisdom made a deep impression on my mind and it started appearing in my chats with friends (in those days, this was done face to face), serious or otherwise, which is what earned me this nickname. Even my present-day students will vouch for letting the Cat out of the bag during my classes.

The paragraph quoted above has such depth. It contains an obvious message and conceals another equally significant one. The obvious one is about having a goal in life, without which all our efforts would be directionless. There are three elements that motivate one towards a goal: direction, intensity and persistence. Here, direction is the essential one. The rest are necessary, but not sufficient.

The not-so-obvious message is that in the absence of a goal, even though we may achieve something in life, it would turn out to be meaningless when we realise that it was not in line with our goals. Our achievements have a meaning insomuch as they enhance our sense of self-worth and help us actualise our true potential. For this, they have to be aligned with our vision, towards which our goals serve as milestones.

One may argue that without a defined goal, one can still indulge in exploration, both within and without, and the experience gained would be rewarding anyway, for the journey is more important than the destination. However, the point one would be missing here is that even an exploration seeks to uncover something, and that something is usually defined. Looking for an answer, while the question itself has not been articulated may lead to meaningless discoveries or worse, seemingly meaningful answers. For instance the mysterious figure of 42, arrived at as the answer to the ultimate question, in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’!!!

54 thoughts on “Cheshire Cat

  1. A little confused about goals and benchmarks. Lets talk of the mediocres, say myself I might not have a goal in life cause I know I cannot fix them but then I can make my life meaningful and defined too through benchmarks. Suppose I know I cannot become an IITian does not mean I have no direction in life or say in 10 years of my career i do have the goal set of reaching a GM level atleast does not mean I am directionless.Probably what matters more is not framing questions in life but walking paths where you are satisfied with your journey where you feel you have given the best and made the right choices or opted the option that worked best for you. I maybe wrong and and perfectly agree with what you said but would be happy if I get my confusion here cleared.Everybody is not gifted the ability to set goals in life but many end up leading a contented life not a meaningless one by benchmarking with things they know positive outcomes they have seen or maybe time tested routes they have witnessed.
    Your philosophies …… amazing!!!!

  2. Have heard about the Cheshire Cat from u before and to read it here on the blog has its own charm…. Look forward to some more Gyan from u Guruji… its always enriching to listen to u …

  3. The quality of your vocabulary is reminscent of some of the best i know ! You are capable to fly the toughest of the head winds. Fantastic piece.
    The drink is pending, my friend.

  4. Hello Sir……….this sketch doesnt seems as your first sketch…….its perfect as per the character……..

  5. well now i know the right word for that (in)famous grin of yours. But the whole goal path theory and the intertwining of fate and destiny in our path makes me wonder whether Alice ever had a choice, Oracle in Matrix trilogy talks about how Neo has already made a decision and now he is merely trying to understanding it. The question cheshire cat poses and grins about is the banality of the whole question itself. The cheshire is no sphinx holding key to something momentous, to me it says that it is the individual who has to choose the path and decide ones course. Since it is your decision others asking others which path to take will only take you to a path that was not yours and the grin is a sign of that. As Henley said “I am the master of my fate:I am the captain of my soul.” Someone in comments talks about mediocre, it is a path that he thought ( when and where is another question) and is now on it.

  6. “in the absence of a goal, even though we may achieve something in life, it would turn out to be meaningless when we realise that it was not in line with our goals”

    really made me rethink about My Goal and actions taken towards it.
    Also, your advice in AskHimanshuRai section helped me a lot to regain my lost confidence.

    always looking forward to listen more from you sir.

  7. Hello Sir, indeed nicely and thoughtfully has been captured the wisdom behind the cat’s remarks.. but my thoughts are on how to decide where to go and what to look for when the world is full of options to explore and your likes and wants exceed what can be achieved in a lifetime. So, what I feel is even if you don’t have a perfectly well-planed goal in life that is aligned to your strengths and weaknesses or even if the goal is unfathomable to others you should not falter back on what you have decided upon and keep moving forward.

  8. Sir,
    I appreciate the wicked grinof a cat picture but more than that i really appreciated the underlining meaning of the article. It says you need to have a goal in life.Its a must because if you dont have a direction where you are headed, your life would be like a thread less kite. No matter how much achieve in your life until and unless these achievements has got connect with your true aspirations they are like a script less movie i.e. meaningless. These achievements may show certain action in your life and they may be really appreciable but only your heart knows its true worth.So, one must first define his/her lifes goals and then start working on them with intensity and perseverance.
    Your article depicts this beautiful thought through a conversation between Alice and a cat. At first when i read this conversation I thought it would be signifying a cats wickedness, I never thought it may be going this Direction.But after reading the whole article ,Cheshire cat is truly a rejoice to read now .

  9. The message that the cat wanted to impress upon Alice, was, I believe, the not so obvious one. Most of us, don’t know where we want to be. In the context of our lifetimes, there is no particular destination that is right or a direction that is suitable. Our lives are shaped by innumerable decisions that determine what it looked like in the end. And moreover, I believe, it’s not one journey but several parallel journeys that we undertake in our lifetimes, each with a different destination.
    Our lives cannot be compared in terms of our destinations, as that would be different for all & subjective as well. What determines the quality of our life is how we got there. Same would hold true for Alice as well who has no particular goal, nevertheless ends up having a great journey.
    I think the greatest wisdom is to just, “keep walking”. We all get to where we are destined to.
    “Karmanye vadhikaraste ma faleshu kadachna”…

  10. Having gone through the insightful article, one introspects if leading a life sans goals, actually meaningless? Is having an “end” that important & are these ends more important than means?

    Our goals are like kites. (PS- The surname I share with a popular cricket commentator is merely a coincidence) They “soar” high but change direction with the winds of change in life. From the little life I have seen, I believe that goals are a spin-off, when we follow our heart. Sachin Tendulkar never had 100 100’s in mind, the first time he held a cricket bat. They just happened.

  11. Yes, but the ultimate goal of any human being is to “be happy”.
    The intermediate goals are just like the layers of an onion you need to peel before you reach the core.

    As Henry Ford said – “There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.

    In the end we do what we do to feel good.

  12. Goal is the ultimate aspiration of an individual. Everyone strive to achieve it, but only few can eventually accomplish it. What goes wrong with most of them is the road (direction) they take. Most of the people are nonplussed at the point where the road bifurcates: one road is thorny, dangerous, and challenging and the second is a grassy and snug. It is at this point where one’s character and wisdom come into picture. Everyone know that the path of glory is full of thorns and challenges. Most of the people do take the first road, but still they cannot achieve their ultimate goal because they lack the other essential ingredients of success: hard work, wisdom and perseverance.

  13. This brings to the point of long term and short term goals. Not sure whether each individual can have a long term goal; consider it as a lack of exposure to such enlightenment. But having short term goals, apart from being helpful is achievable as well.

    It is like driving in a lonely highway in darkness. One may not have an antenna to sense the exact destination, but there is a faint idea about it. But important it is to have our own head light – the only source of light for major duration of the journey- to ‘see’ the near distance appearing as we move ahead. Occasionally, there will other sources of guidance and direction in form of head lights of other travellers. Those may be the ones coming back or the ones overtaking us or even the ones which we overtake.

    But the journey will not be an easy one. There will be hurdles like speed breakers which we have to be careful of well in advance knowing that our headlights have limited coverage. The most critical time would be at the cross roads; the decision making points. That is when we will have to rely on our own intuition. Questions will arise whether to take the road less travelled by or the one where all are rushing towards. Here it is important not to get carried away or be afraid of the loneliness, but to wait, halt, take a breath and read yourself. The answer will be there.

    Carrying out the journey this way can lead to realising the final goal and hence ultimately reaching there. Definitely, the journey is more important and more pleasing than just reaching the final destination. Those who have done this, will echo these words.

  14. Setting goals is important in life weather achieved the goal or not in life. If you are not able to set the goal “where you will go” and “what will you search” to achieve as u will never see the close end. I think there should be the straight path towards the goal.

  15. Very well written, Sir. The most important element to achieve something in life is indeed the direction. However, in the absence of the goal, the direction would lead to only discoveries of insignificance and would perplex the human mind even more. Then, until the time a person does not know what the goal is, which direction would he/she take?

  16. If only the Cheshire Cat was there to witness this masterpiece. At last there is literary which pursues one to read on and on. It’s one of the best that Ive read in a while. It is intriguing to note that this was all triggered by just the referral of the Cheshire Cat.
    Sir, To brush up reading the entire novel for it again just tells me the deep resemblance you wanted to identify and also found in the Cheshire cat and yourself.
    Also please do keep thinking, do keep writing and enlightening us.

    Reading it with such literal sense and intellectual brilliance, I would really want to read a fiction novel penned by you. I’m expecting one in the near future.

  17. Sir , Im inspired by your post. I loved the way you drew the emotion from one context to another .And the importance given for having a goal and direction in life seems very crucial in life. My concern is that I do not have a proper goal in life and still believes that Im happy with what Im doing .My doubt is how can we know our goal in our life ?.Means ,I had some goals in the past ,but stopped chasing them because of failing on those occasions.

  18. Comment as Part of Class Participation 🙂

    Good artists copy, Great artists steal, MBA students copy paste and give references 😀

    “The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism – and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong – and lucky – he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death – however mutable man may be able to make them – our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” — Stanley Kubrick

  19. People always talk about goals; be it short term or long term or the ultimate one. But how many of us have those as well defined? How many of us have ever thought of a right direction to walk in for achieving those?

    The article talks about the exploration and goal. Nowadays people first decide on their goal and then on the journey of achieving it they explore themselves. Everybody is running in the rat race, be it for money, fame, luxury etc, irrespective of their interest. People should first go for self exploration, find out what excites them and then set their goals.

    Where does this need of goal arise?? I think the goals which a man has are all linked to his needs at various stages as given by Maslow’s hierarchy. Goals will be different for every stage of life and so will be the path for achieving them. But the common things will be one’s: dedication, motivation perseverance and energy to achieve them.
    In the end when one achieves the goal, he doesn’t remember only the milestone but the whole journey to his goal.

    I hope all of us have great journeys (some may be too good while others may be hard) and reach at our milestones.

    Happy Journey forever!!!!

  20. Excellent article with beautiful message embedded in it! Life without goal is like fire without heat, ice without cold and ocean without water. What gives meaning to the life? If you dont have aims in life, how you gauge your success/failure, joy/sorrow, triumph/defeat and life/death?

    Cheshire cat reminds me of Panchatantra in which wisdom of life has been depicted through stories of animals. The cat sketch by former CAT convener is really impressive! Hope to receive more knowledge, wisdom and philosophy from you sir!

  21. Hello Sir, I believe that though a widely taken up subject in inspirational and self-help books, goal-setting still eludes many of us. The condition resembles to that of a not-so-healthy person who keeps postponing his health check-up, even when he knows that it might bring significant harm. But again, all this person needs is a little awakening call or some motivation or immediate reason to take the needful action.
    Secondly, I would like to point out that setting a goal is not a one-time errand, but a continuous process. The reason for this is that the hopes, aspirations, skills and abilities of a person keep on changing. Care must be taken, though, that the new goal does not come up as just a compromise over the original one, but as a better calculated version of it.

  22. When you pursue your dreams, you might be left with different choices. When the goal is clear, the decision that you are going to make wont go wrong. Always hope for the best to happen. Because “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what youre gonna get.”

  23. I agree with the part where you said “for the journey is more important than the destination”.
    The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost also is also about the path than the destination.
    Every one wants to go home but none will prefer missing the journey to home.
    There is not point of having goals when one cannot relish each moment of its journey.
    Its just one life we have and we cannot miss out on journey which is major.

  24. Sir, your sketch is highly appreciable (considering it is to your first one). It is proficiently able to give the grinning effect of the Chesire Cat. Though, I believe if the tail could have been denser, it would have added more value to the sketch.
    I agree that having a direction in our life makes our life go smoother and makes it more meaningful. But sometimes without having a direction also, life teaches us a lot. Many successful people never had direction in their life but still are standing on the pinnacle of the life. Its all about expedition and journey we go through, what we learned and how we implement these learning in our life.

  25. A thoughtful work Sir, but i feel that setting up goals is like somebody forcing you to achieve what you wanted all your life. My opinion is that there is nothing like setting up goals instead you need to be like a free bird reaching short term goals and moving in the direction of success.
    Its not whats happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, its your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what youre going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.

  26. Everyone should do something that they enjoy. This would help in going ahead in ones own pursuits.
    Even when one treads on a different path, he/she can always come back with a bang on the slightest remembrance.
    This brings the fact to light “love what you do” or else “do what you love” !

  27. The way you could portray the words into a sketch is too good. The grin explains the wisdom portrayed by the character in the story. Although there is no meaning to carry on with a path until it leads to your goal, I believe that every path is meant to teach you something which would finally help us in the path leading to our goal.
    Its indeed a deep insightful thinking about the path towards our goal. The article does make one to think and realize that life indeed is after all a lesson to be learnt from.

  28. As Diana Scharf Hunt says “Goals are dreams with deadlines” so I feel that although it is important to have goals but we should not stop there. One should always keep setting new goals for himself.

  29. A great article sir…the importance of having a goal in life is being beautifully portrait here, it made me think about my actions as whether they are aligned to my goal or not. This is itself a proof of the quality of the article. The line if you only walk long enough aptly reflects that if you dont have a goal in life you have to walk a long path before you realize it and till then the meaning of your goal might get lost. So it is important to realize your goal as early as possible and start moving in that direction.I believe that all the actions you take and the experience you gain in your life directs you to your goal, so we need to review our actions and experience to gain insight from it.

  30. We flow with the life but sometimes we come across the character or interesting thing which we have read years ago, which not only brings back the flood of memories associates with that time but also the mild aroma of the old books. Your description of “Cheshire Cat” from Alice in Wonderland set loses all those characters which left their deep marks in my memories, thanks a lot for that.
    Coming to article, it is very well written with lots of wittiness but still rings the right codes in the mind of the reader. The main theme of the article is Goal setting which is important to all of us whether it is for our professional life or personal life, having a goal or a milestone gives us helps us stay focused and prevents us getting distracted. But one should not forget that, reaching the goal is not the only important thing but the process or the journey is as important as the goal itself. The journey gives us the opportunity to evolve from what we are to what we want to be, harder the journeys better the scope of growth. So set a goal and enjoy the ride.

  31. If we dont know where we are going, but we are indeed going, then it truly doesnt matter which road we take. The important thing is to keep going. The choice that we take in our life, can make all the difference, and so it clearly “matters.”All paths are a learning experience, nonetheless, and when we make the wrong choice, we learn that the next time we will choose differently. Thus Goals in right direction helps us to focus on areas in both our personal and professional life that are important and meaningful, rather than being guided by what other people want us to be, do, or accomplish.

  32. If you dont know where you are going, you will end up going some where else which can ruin your life or can you make you great. Goal is important to make life successful so as to avoid the uncertain path in life.
    A person who wants to dig a hole for a construction purpose will have a goal of earning bread for the day. But he might find a treasure which can change his life.This happens very rarely in life. So rather than expecting that something amazing happens, its better to strive hard towards a path which is certain. Satisfaction one would obtain by achieving something for which one strives is tremendous.
    The other way of looking is keeping options open and exploring. This is naturally for a risk lover. Many great discoveries happened due to exploring or because of deviating from goal. There are great personalities who had a dream and goal to go to Harvards and Stanfords but were unsuccessful. But they achieved somethings which Harvards cannot even think to do.Then they realized their real goal in life is not going to Harvards but doing that something. So not having a goal for some point of time in life can help you do wonders which people with a particular goal cannot achieve. Later you would do have goal of achieving that something in life.
    Its is very true that journey is the most memorable in one lives. A great article indeed which showed different ways of looking into a paragraph from a novel.

  33. Sir, thanks for reminding me the wise cheshire cat.
    I believe that though the direction is as important as it may be, it is our perseverance and determination shown that enables us to savour our success more than anything. It is our unrelenting focus and hard work that takes us to the end of our journey.
    Also, we should not forget that most important inventions happened in the world were accidental. So the journey we take is more important than what our goal has been and what we have achieved.

  34. “direction, intensity and persistence”-The motivating elements towards the goal.In my perspective all the three elements are necessary to achieve the goal.As absence of even one element will not lead one to achieve the goal.But nevertheless,in todays world most of us are missing two elements which are direction and persistence.Patience is a very need to have persistence which we lack due to light speed life we are living.Of course, the direction which most of the youngsters lack and now is the right time to be clear on the path to achieve life time goal.

  35. A very nice article depicting about the importance of directions in our life. I remember the statement of yours ” There are no short term goals, everything is long term…”, because we get plenty of options for short term. It is the long term goal which is our ultimate motive and short term goals are just the best means to achieve the former.

    As according to the Cheshire Cat in the last line, we will definitely land somewhere and achieve something if we keep moving on in our life, but that something and somewhere aint going to give us the internal satisfaction, of achieving something invaluable in our life. It is only that internal satisfaction which makes us happy, the ultimate goal of every humankind. Even Alice in the story had a long term goal, what she was not sure was of short term goals. We always have to make plans to achieve the desired goals and its is very rightly said by Larry Elder…

    “A goal without a plan is just a wish”

  36. The Cheshire cat mentions “if you only walk long enough”. And I am Walking !
    As Jimmy Dean once said,
    “I cant change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
    Most people don’t have clue to what their actual ‘Goal’ in life is. ‘Goal, ahh … yes, never thought about it’, ‘happiness, what else it can be’, ‘I don’t believe in goal setting’, are some of the clichés that one gets to hear. Goal to me is more a sense of purpose rather than an “end”. It is what drives me and encourages me to pick myself up when I fall. It is what helps me get better with time.

  37. Sir, Undoubtedly visions are an integral part of the life of anyone who has been gifted with a thinking mind. I also agree to the part that goals are really important to and far more important is aligning to them so as to realize you vision eventually, but I dont consider people who cherish the journey more than the eventual outcome as wanderers on a dark road ending up nowhere. I think if you just not consider direction they might not be lacking on the other 2 dimensions of intensity and persistence. Every such journey teaches you a lot and as we know life is stranger than fiction so these experiences on diverse roads really help you attain your lifes objective. Everyone says they have a goal but I presume a goal is not worth setting until you have tried all the other alternatives as the goal you set might not be what the core of your heart really strives for.
    Very well scripted thought though……

  38. In order to achieve something in life we need to set a goal, i.e. what to achieve, if not we never know where we are heading towards. Travelling in the right path to achieve our goal is the next important thing and it may not be easy all the time. Perseverance takes you closer to your destination when you face difficulties in your journey. Even attitude matters in this journey. If you have right attitude nothing can stop you and no one can help you if your attitude is not right.

    “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” Stephen A. Brennan

  39. “Goal”
    It is the commonly heard word for me…because in my childhood days, dad always worried about me n used to say that “U have no goals”. Even now at this stage, sometimes, I wonders that whether I still know my goals!!!! There is still a long way to go.
    But you said a nice word Direction. But Sir, isnt the path also important. Because even in right direction, there may be two paths. One leads u to destination but other one not.
    Thank you Sir for such an enlightenment. 🙂

  40. Goal setting, the theme of this article, is something which you have been hearing for the past many years. Your parents told you about it first, then your school teacher and then by responsible persons at each stages of your growth. And all the time you have been setting goals one better than the other and forgetting that action speaks louder than words. And may be in the future in a later stage of your life you will set a new goal with a better outlook. What I feel is that the means are more important than the goals as someone commented earlier. The Ultimate Goal for everyone is happiness in all its senses, hence follow your heart in the path to attain your goal and success will follow.

  41. He who is too engrossed in his desire to attain the goal, is sure to miss the beauty of the path to the goal. I always believed that the journey is important. The Goal evolves for me. Time and situation play their part in it.
    But this article really provokes me into thinking whether it is the right philosophy.
    Looking forward to more such thought -provoking piece of work from you.

  42. An enlightening article.Yes, I agree ,goal is important in ones life.When there is no goal in ones life,you dont know which way to go and the path you take doesnt matter as told by the cat.I think among the three elements mentioned,first one decides the other two.

  43. We strive to achieve something in life and when it is achieved, the joy in having achieved it is usually short-lived. But had we not got what we wanted, would we be the same.. Would it not be worthwhile enjoying the path and worrying less about the end..

    “I dont mind going nowhere as long as its an interesting path”

  44. Very deep thought!!
    Its true that everyone knows he has to be big one day.. But in the eyes of an average intelligent human only few are big because only few know how to be big…
    His definition of goal is arguably the most prominent deciding factors in making him what he wants to become… But the questions is “Are flukes(without goals) not satisfied or is their success meaningless”. Is it that only when someones becomes a “hit” does he becomes an example.. Is it that someone who “flops” despite being with a strong goal gets covered under the sand dunes…
    These are few questions , the answer for which I have been in pursuit of.. Hope this blog will have many more mind intriguing posts and we shall have more answers….

  45. A refreshing but thought provoking article. Though the underline theme of the article is having a goal before deciding a path to achieve it, but equally important is having clarity about the goal. Clarity of goal has relevance in life of each and every individual.But for an organization, having unclear or well defined goals can be suicidal. Large Organizations collapse not because they dont have a Vision or a Mission statements (Organizational Goals), but because these Mission and Vision statements are too ambiguous. On the contrary,those organizations, who have clear vision and mission statements , and who communicate these statements effectively to their employees, become leaders in whichever field they enter.

    Citation of “Cheshire Cat” by Mr B Muthuraman (Man behind Tata Steels takeover of Corus Steel) provides insight into one of the main reasons for Tata Steels continuous growth and success across so many years.

  46. In my opinion, a ‘how’ has always to be preceded by a ‘why’. One first needs to chalk out why one is doing something then only one can chalk out how one can do that. If ‘why’ is clear, even the most difficult obstacle seems like a little hurdle and ‘how’ seldom comes in picture. If ‘why’ is not clear, every second stepping stone seems like a blocking stone and creates a big ‘HOW??’. As Tarang already pointed out, “We make choices first and then we try to understand them”. The clearer the understanding becomes, smoother the actions become. If one has the big picture in mind, one can easily join the pieces. The simplest example: have two, five year old children, give them a puzzle to solve. Show one of them the complete picture of the puzzle before they start solving the puzzle. Now note the timings of solving. The one with complete picture in mind would take much lesser time, obvious enough, too difficult to implement in life though.
    Here one can definitely argue what is the fun in solving the puzzle, if one has already seen the big picture and as Vishal already pointed out “the journey is more important and more pleasing than the final destination” but here the question is what the final destination is? What seems like an end to one journey may be the start of next journey. Michael Hussey is one of the most polished cricketers to enter the international cricket at the age of 30. One can definitely say he spent a lot of time polishing his skills in domestic front and that showed when he entered the international arena and performed exceptionally well. But maybe, he cannot be a ‘Sachin’ now. The point is simple, the fun is in the journey, but may be the next journey will be a more enriching experience. But again it is the individual’s choice to enjoy one journey more or other one more.
    Sometimes the initial voluntary decision to lengthen a journey may result in frustrating experience when the journey becomes even lengthier than the expected. The same holds true for the other way round, one may feel regretful of shortening a journey. One needs to be careful about one’s choices because maybe ‘Zindagi na milegi dobaraa’.

  47. Dear Sir,

    Your message on the importance of goals is truly inspiring.I believe that everyone of us falters in time at one point or the other and at that point of time it would help if we look at the message given by you.And I believe that we should always remember what Henry Ford once said –“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

  48. “The not-so-obvious message is that in the absence of a goal, even though we may achieve something in life, it would turn out to be meaningless when we realise that it was not in line with our goals.”

    Dear Sir, Isnt there a contradiction in the above lines, when it is said that in the absence of a goal(that is no goal), how can we realise that it is not in line with our goals?

    Impressive writing and nice sketch.

  49. Dear Sir,

    We read and hear many stories of scientists and successful persons, who in the initial days were aimless and wanderers, they explored things tried to do some then left again picked one and then left and then accidentally they discovered which changed history.
    Einstein is one such person, who didnt decided anything till his college time and then turned into a wizard of discoveries.
    If we look present scenario the goal of kids ( from KG to end of school) are either decided by parents or they are forced to select particular direction of their voyage due to social pressure and end up doing something else so as to say socially well settled person, they never realize what they were supposed to do or in which field they could have been excelled.

    So, according to you what is goal? When a person is not aware of number 11 in which he can excel but his limitations showing numbers upto 5, so he has to select from the available options, do we call this a goal of that person??
    Well I am still confused how a person can choose a goal without exploring all the available options..!!!!

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