Over the last two years I have had the opportunity to travel and/or speak all over the world in places like Quebec, Nova Scotia, the Virgin Islands, Kuwait, and Cape Town, South Africa. The journey has truly been a blessing, but it has also given me an opportunity to see how different groups of people behave so similarly.
Regardless of where I am, I find shopping malls depressingly similar across the world. In every mall I see herds of people endlessly wandering and drifting, seemingly with all the time in the world and no purpose or direction. There are people looking through store fronts, trying on shoes, and eating ice cream in the food court;
I see men sitting haplessly on the ubiquitous bench in the middle of the mall and teenagers giggling and listening to their iPods. Malls drive me crazy because I find them analogous to the way many people spend their lives: wandering, drifting, over-stimulated and under-motivated, sitting on the bench of life as spectators while others are achieving their dreams.
When I go to the mall, I know what I am seeking and where I am going. The only thing I need to know is the location of the store which can satisfy my needs and desires. So the first thing that I do upon entering the mall is to find the mall directory and map. I search the map until I find the Big Red Dot that says "You Are Here," then locate the store I'm seeking;
then I make a bee line in that direction, ignoring the distractions, food courts, advertisements, and free samples. I get what I came to get, then move on to my next destination.
Life is like a big mall and too many people are just drifting though the aisles with no purpose or direction. We are wandering from job to job, school to school, mate to mate, looking, chilling, over-stimulated by entertainment from American Idol, Survivor, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Flava Flav, and the Who Dat Nation (Geaux Saints!) - but under-motivated in reference to our purpose and dreams.
In order to achieve our dreams and reach our potential, the first thing we must do is find the Big Red Dot (•) in our life that will tell us where we are. During this time of mass delusion, we must be honest with ourselves and self-examine, seeing reality as it is and not how we wish it were.
Are you in consumer and credit card debt? Are you putting forth your best effort in your career? Are you committed to your own success? Where are you? Have you found the Big Red Dot on your Life's Map?
There are three things all of us must do on an annual basis:
1. Find the Big Red Dot: Where are you in your life?
2. Write down where you want to be at some point in the future.
3. Make a plan with timelines and measurable milestones which you will follow to get you there.