Choice Not Chance Living to LEARN — 13 September 2012
There Is No “Right Way” to Get Where You Want to Go


How many times have you heard the phrase, “That’s not the right way to do it”?

Let me tell you: there is no universal right way.

YOUR way is the right way.

Imagine all the inventions that would never have seen light of day if the inventor had listened to someone else’s idea of the “right way”.

Imagine all of the wonderful creations that would have withered on the vine.

The paintings that would never have seen a brush stroke.

The books that would never have been written.

Particularly today, and especially online, there are scores of “experts” and “gurus” telling us the right way to do things.


What works for one person does not necessarily work for another.

You know that, right?

We ALL know that at an intellectual level. But at a gut level, we question ourselves. We defer to those experts and gurus. We think someone else knows better than we do. We fall into the trap of allowing others to dictate our course, rather than creating our own path and charting our own destiny.

Today is the day to stop all that.

Today is the day to don your captain’s hat and steer your own ship. Make your own compass. Chart your own course.

But then again: “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”.

Perhaps that’s why we’re so eager to take the advice and counsel of others. We haven’t figured out for ourselves where we want to go.

Without a clear intention on direction, in absence of a decision and afraid of making a mistake, it’s so much easier to follow someone else’s advice than to heed one’s heart.

Heed your heart.

You know it’s speaking to you louder than words.

Now or never was the time.

Make a decision today.

Where do you want to go?

Kaarina Dillabough, Amaranth, Ontario

Kaarina is a business/life coach living in Ontario, Canada. For over 25 years her high-voltage energy, expertise and experience has inspired those she has worked with to reach beyond their grasp, to attain great things in business and in life. A former Olympic sports colour commentator and coach, Kaarina parlayed her coaching skills from the gym floor to the boardroom, working with business owners to improve their profitability and prosperity. In doing so, she has seen people grow both personally and professionally. Kaarina is known as an inspiring motivational speaker in areas such as branding, marketing, business growth strategies, and personal growth and prosperity. She is a passionate, seasoned coach and accountability partner with a proven track record, who loves nothing more than helping people achieve their goals in business and in life. Check out her Blog or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Email contact: kaarina (at) kaarinadillabough (dot) com

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(36) Readers Comments

  1. Pingback: A “right way” to get where you want to go? | Kaarina Dillabough

  2. See YOU ARE an angel Kaarina … I soooo needed to read this today!! Thank you, thank you!!

    Your words offer great comfort and sage advice! I have two “selves” I battle with constantly and what a battle it is! It’s funny, but I was just going over some things today about my work. Things came into question from other individuals who I valued their opinion at the beginning of my new venture. I kind of smiled and chuckled at the thought if I had let their opinion and thoughts take me down a different path or take me down period. Glad I didn’t … we’ve come a long way and improving every day.

    Good stuff as always Kaarina … my personal hero and mentor! Thank you for somehow knowing I’d like this post. I more than like it … I LOVE IT!!

    Warmth and goodness to you always my friend!!


    • You honour me with your friendship and very kind words Elena. And to be someone’s personal hero and mentor? I could not ask for a better tribute to what I endeavour to do: spread joy…be of service.

      It’s great to gather opinions and thoughts from others, but it is YOU who should always make the final choice. I always use my mentor, Jack Donahue’s phrase: “Take what I say and chew it around. If you don’t like it, spit it out. But at least chew it around for a while.”

      When we take the advice, counsel, opinion or recommendations of others solely on their face value, without determining for ourselves if that’s what’s best for us, we can go on bit of a wild goose chase.

      Great to see you here my friend. And if you ever want a shoulder to lean on or a listening ear, you know where to find me:) Cheers! Kaarina

    • Who are you?

      • Ah, soooo nice to see you Mr. D.!!! I missss you!!!!

        • We miss you! Where are you? ;)

          • Waah! I miss YOU too!!!! I need to get it together!! :)

  3. Kaarina, do you set 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year goals?

    How do you make sure you DO get where you want to go, so you’re not looking back a year later and realizing you haven’t made a whit of progress? That’s the story of my life!

    On the other hand, I was thinking recently about my legacy — what will people say about me when I’m gone? And I realized I could die today and know my life was not wasted. Not at all.

    Maybe that’s really what it’s all about. But my dream of dreams is to sell all our stuff and travel the country in an RV the rest of my days, working and writing from the road! I just never seem to make any progress that way. Work and ministry keep us grinding away.

    • Michelle, it would seem that if you’re not getting where you want to go, there might be a few reasons:

      The destination (goal) you’ve identified isn’t a) really that important b) scary c) unquantified or d) all of the above:)

      Perhaps you need a sherpa to help you along the way (unabashed reference to getting a coach…someone who would help you set goals, stick to them and/or adjust along the way, accountability partner and kick-in-the-pants mentor/muse/coach/cheerleader/confidante.

      In terms of setting really long-term goals…I tend toward shorter, achievable, measureable goals. The world is changing so quickly that one can either take the far eastern approach (plan for the next 1000 years…seriously) or a more “digital” approach…I’ll plan for the next 6 months. Because if you plan for the short-term (or long, for that matter), it’s important to adjust your sails to the wind as things constantly change.

      I’d be happy to Skype sometime to discuss those dreams with you. You know you can always take advantage of that:) No obligation. Let’s talk:) Cheers! Kaarina

      • I do need someone to help me set goals. Yes, please!

        See my reply to Vidya, too.

        • You’re on my friend. We’re going to set time and date, put on the coffee and chat via Skype…soon!

  4. I agree with Elena when she says you are an angel, Kaarina, because you are. With the internet, social media, and all that online activity, most of us allow ourselves to be pressurized. There’s an information overload and one link leads to another….and before we know it, huge digital overwhelm. Until a few months ago, I remember I used to subscribe to all sorts of newsletters (yeah, utter digital clutter). I found, eventually, I was archiving newsletters and for what? To read later. A later that may never come. Because there’s loads more adding up each day. One fine day, while checking email, my son happened to glance at my screen and was shocked to see 400+ unread email. I told him they were newsletters….and he asked – but why would you keep them if they’re available online? What a wake up call it was. I systematically unsubscribed to most of them and got my life back :D

    Everyone is anxious to perform, often without knowing what they really want to accomplish. Luckily, I have an idea what I want – and feel relieved much of it is offline.

    This post is also kind of like a wake up call :D Seem to need that periodically just to take stock and feel good that all is well.

    Thanks! :D . I subscribed by email to this website when I read your first post here, but I haven’t got this update or any other – I just realized that. Strange.

    Love, Vidya

    • Yikes! I hope our Editor saw this. If you subscribed, you should be receiving notifications. I’ll talk to him about this.

      You are a wise woman to pare down, know what’s really important, and BE and DO what is important, meaningful and rewarding. I regularly purge my reader and my inbox. I’ve let go of the desire to read “everything I can”. I treat my time and energy as precious commodities, and realize that, with only so many hours in a day, each moment is to be valued, savoured and spent in a way in which I can provide service, nourish my soul and have fun!…oh yes, and run a business that is productive and profitable. After all…money is the result of doing good and providing (over-used word here) value.

      I like that you find this to be a wake up call:) I like to say it’s important each day to wake up to a purpose, not an alarm. To purpose! Cheers! Kaarina

    • Oh, my word. This is my problem, right here, Vidya and Kaarina.

      Too much on my plate, too many responsibilities in too many different areas, too much to read and do and stay up to date on. It’s the “tyranny of the urgent.”

      Kaarina, let’s schedule a Skype call for the beginning of October! We’ll have coffee together online!

      • Ah, tell me about it, Michelle! During those days, I came pretty close to deleting my entire mailbox and starting afresh. Well I did delete 60 % of the stuff – created another email id and backed up whatever was left here. And started afresh. If ever I need something I can always log in to that other account. :-)

      • Michelle, I look forward to Skyping with you and eliminating that “tyranny of the urgent ” gremlin, over coffee:) Will be in touch to set a time/date. Cheers! Kaarina

  5. How can I put on my captain’s hat if I’m wearing my social media crown?

    I’m always lost, so I like the road that can lead to anywhere.

    It’s ok to emulate and observe, but at some point in time you have to figure it out for yourself; you can only ride on those coattails for so long, right?

    I’ve seen one of those boat/cars in action BTW; pretty bizarre.

    I feel I am heeding my heart; it has me in a good direction……….thanks for sharing.

    • Always heed your heart Bill:) It won’t steer you wrong.

      And we’d never want you to exchange your crown for a Captain’s hat. In my books, crown trumps captain’s hat any day:)

      You make me smile. You’re never lost. You know exactly what you’re doing…and you do it well:) Cheers! Snowshoes

  6. I like the road not taken. It is kind of my natural habitat and where I most frequently find myself hanging out and I am good with that. There is no one way to live or do things and I am happy about that.

    Life would be awfully boring otherwise.

    • I have nothing to add to that JJ. Wise words. Wise path you’re carving. Cheers! Kaarina

  7. When I’m in doubt of which road to take, I say to myself go anywhere, start somewhere and then you’ll figure it out. There is no right way for sure and if there was it wouldn’t have been fun. Imagine everyone experiencing the same things – not interesting at all. Life, as we know it, with all directions, paths, challenges, threats, fears, ways, is playful and fit for us. Great post Kaarina!

    • Great to see you here Sophie, and what a great attitude you have:) Start where you are, take a step, and as they say, the next step will open up to you. Life is meant to be fully experienced, so to follow someone else’s path only can mean that so much scenery gets missed along the way. Cheers! Kaarina

  8. Kaarina, wow! The one thing I needed to hear today. I was experimenting with a path to follow that was placed in my lap and have felt so pressured and uneasy, wondering if I was closed-minded, resistant, or something else.
    This morning , as I was driving I realized that the root of the decision problem for me is based in fear and shame. Fear that if I don’t show up a certain way I’l won’t be taken seriously, and shame because it might appear that I’m not dedicated or committed, and that I give up easily. That I’m a loser.
    I realized that I was surrounded by people who live their lives in fear of not doing things the right way in a competitive world that would only work for those who jumped through the right hoops.
    Once I figured that out I knew I was on a the right track to making a better decision for my life- would this path lead to fulfilling another piece of my life purpose? Or was I just adding credentials that made me feel like a smarter, more accomplished person?
    Does that make sense?
    I’m going to take the weekend to ponder.
    Wish me luck!
    Thanks a bunch for this excellent and timely post!!

    • Betsy, you are definitely choosing the “right way” to deal with this because the right way is YOUR way. You know well enough to trust your gut…to not get sucked into the vortex of others’ judgment, fear or negativity. Sometimes it’s tough. When challenging things are presented to us, and negativity abounds around us, it’s not always easy to forge one’s own path. It can feel lonely and difficult. But taking the high road…one’s own road…may not be the easy one, but it’s the right one.

      You’re wise to take some time over the weekend to ponder, especially this point:
      “If you don’t know the “why”, the “how” doesn’t matter”

      WHY would you do whatever you’re thinking of doing? You actually asked yourself a good question here. For fulfilling a life purpose, or for credentials? I think you might already have answered your own question:)

      You are NOT a loser. You win every time you decide2do from a place of integrity, and act on that. I’ll end with my favourite quote: “This above all, to thine own self be true.” Cheers! Kaarina

  9. Hey Kaarina,

    I guess that’s what makes some educators really good (or leaders for that matter). The ones that can teach you something and leave you with the impression it was all you.

    I have been a DIY guy most of my life. I guess that came from my childhood. “Figure it out Ralph” seems to be ringing around in my head…….so while the “experts” are good to rely on getting some background following any one way just seems foreign to me.

    If I did just follow I would probably live in a van down by the river……..

    • Oh my gosh Ralph, your “live in a van down by the river” quote from the video over at Bill’s place made me LOL all over again! You somewhat paraphrased one of my favourite Lao Tzu quotes about leadership that ends with the statement “let the people believe they did it all themselves”.

      You’re a wise DIY guy Ralph. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Cheers! Kaarina

  10. “To thine own self be true”… Wasn’t that from a comic book or something? :)

    I think the key distinction is being able to tell the difference between good advice and advice that is good for you. There is no shortage of wisdom out there, but it has to be a good fit for the individual.

    • That made me laugh Adam:) And I really like your line, “…the key distinction is being able to tell the difference between good advice and advice that is good for you.”

      And interesting that you use the word “wisdom”. There’s lots of knowledge out there. There’s lots of information out there. But I believe that it’s through experience that knowledge and information combine (through praxis) to become wisdom. Some people are knowledgeable. Some have lots of information. But I look to those who possess wisdom to listen, chew around, take what I need and spit out the rest to find my own way. Cheers! Kaarina

  11. Just like nobody can copy who you are and do the task exactly the same. but you can do it anyway so I agree with that statement.

    • Great point! When someone says “it’s been said before”, I say: but not in your voice and not in your way. There’s only one you, and your voice and your way are special. Thanks Dlysen; or is it Dangal? Thank you for your comment.

  12. Hello Kaarina!

    This is something I had to read today. Glad I came by!

    Life does have its own path for different individuals. We just have to find our own and what suits us best ; because no one could do a better job of being you; so no one could do a better job of making the choices! :)

    • Hajra, there is only one you, only one me, only one of each individual on the planet. So the most important thing for each person is to take in information, but make their choices and make their own way. Cheers! Kaarina

  13. Hi Kaarina, embracing our originality is not only a key to acheiving success, but the fulfilment, enjoyment and enrichment some very wealthy folks don’t have the pleasure of expiencing.

    Sorry for the late reply… Been sick in bed for nearly three days. My mind is still mushy. I think I just butchered you name on the reply I left on your blog, lol!

    God broke the mold when he made you Kaarina; you’re one classy lady.

    You friend,

    • I hope you feel better soon, my friend. And you can butcher my name anytime: I just love to hear from you:) Thanks so much for such a lovely compliment. You honour me with your kinds words, and with your friendship. Cheers! Kaarina