“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is one of my favourite childhood stories.
I loved the idea of a crazy world where nothing is quite as it seemed. I loved the Mad Hatter and Marche Hare’s tea party. I loved the idea of falling down a rabbit hole to find an adventure. I loved croquet and always wanted to play the game with a flamingo and hedgehog.
While it is a charming children’s story, as an adult I still love it; for all the same reasons.
Now that I am older I understand more can come from a book than just a magical story. There is something to learn from everything.
One lesson I learned from this book is how to set and keep goals.
In “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, “Alice has a goal.
Her curiosity leads her to a strange new world and all she wants is to find her way home.
While she has a set goal, she often forgets about her destination. She is in a brand new world and she has difficulty adjusting and adapting. Not only does she encounter strange new locations and creatures, she also struggles with the different social mannerism, formalities, and etiquette of the world.
At one point she even tells the Cheshire Cat ‘“I don’t much care where [I go]-so long as I get somewhere.”’
The reason why she forgets her goal, is because she does not have her mind fully concentrated on her goal.
In the beginning of the story it was the only thing she could think about. She ask whomever she ran into for help, but as time progress she lost that vision.
Distractions came, such as the white rabbit demanding help, the confusing conversation with the Mad Hatter and Marche Hare, the criticism from the flowers, and the wailing baby. It was not until she found the door in the garden again that she remembered her goal.
In our own life we have goals, but sometimes, like Alice, we forget about them. We can learn from this story many ideas which can help us set goals and prioritise.
All Alice wants to do is go home. She has something to drive and push her to her goal. She misses her friends and family and wants to return to them.
If you don’t have a reason to do something will you do it?
If there is no motivation do you want to do it?
Everyone has everyday tasks, which are goal, but do we always remember the purpose behind them?
Cleaning dishes, washing clothes, and going to work are all mandatory daily activities but why do you do it?
Like in Alice’s journey distractions come in many shapes and sizes. For us it could be procrastination, laziness, forgetfulness, or a number of other things.
There are always distractions in the world, and everyone has different ones. Finding them is a key to succeeding in goals.
What are distractions you have right now that keep you from your goals?
What are other distractions you think may come?
What strange new situations are you thrown into where you must learn a new skill or meet new people in order to feel comfortable?
It is important to reflect on our goals often and remember it’s purpose. Then when distractions come, we know what is more important. We can choose the activities which push us towards our goals and leave the rest behind.
Remember: If you are not moving forward, then you are moving backwards.
Sometimes what we think are distractions or irritations in our lives are really learning opportunities. While Alice found the caterpillars’ interrogations annoying he was trying to help her.
He constantly asks her “Who are you.” At first he asked for an introductory. Then he continued because Alice did not know who she was. She knew her name, but nothing else.
Likewise the Cheshire Cat’s talk tried to encourage her to find where she wanted to go so she could travel there.
In the beginning of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” Alice had a clear goal: Get Home. Over time, as she forgot, about it she didn’t care where she went. She was in no hurry to go anywhere or do anything so it didn’t matter where she went or how long it took to get there.
She wandered around aimlessly because she had no target.
Remember, it is never to late to achieve that long lost goal. Like Alice, sometimes all we need is a small reminder of what we want to do and why. Finding her way back home had meaning to her.
We set goals every day. Sometimes they come in the form of to-do lists, work tasks, or school assignments. Some are long term goals which take a while to complete. Others can be done in a couple minutes. Whatever your goal is, doing the dishes, completing homework, becoming a super model, building a house, or trying a new recipe, don’t loose sight of them.