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Advice from a Cat


“Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting on a tree, “What road do I take?” The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the Cat, “it doesn’t much matter  which way you go.” “So long as I get somewhere,” said Alice. “Oh you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough,” replied the cat.” – Lewis Caroll


As we’re going into a new year many people are making resolutions and plans for the new year. Here’s one of my favourite quotes about goal setting which one of our students introduced to me. Taken from the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, there are lots of hidden in this short exchange. Though I don’t think Caroll meant it as a guide for new-years resolutions, it does have a few handy concepts hidden beneath the surface:


  1. If you don’t know where you’re going, sometimes the best thing to do is simply get started and eventually you’ll discover if you’re on the right track.
  2. Conversely, making decisions with no destination in mind, and no attempt to discover a destination, will ultimately lead you to aimlessly walking in circles (which becomes tiring and frustrating).
  3. If you don’t know which path to take sometimes it’s best to ask for advice. However, be aware who’s handing out the advice, because a cat which disappears and reappears at will, may not be the most reliable source of information. In other words, someone who only shows up to give their opinion or advice but isn’t planning on following that path with you should probably not be relied on.



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