Have you thought recently about how amazing it is to type an address into your smart phone or navigation device and then immediately receive turn-by-turn directions to your destination? Because I am a tad directionally challenged, I am quite grateful for that calm, reassuring voice telling me to prepare to turn right in a quarter of a mile – or, without a hint of frustration, telling me to make a U-turn because somehow I missed a turn.

Just as we wouldn’t set out driving in our cars without a clear destination in mind, we also need a clear destination or goal in mind when we communicate. That’s right. In all of our communications, we need to begin with the end in mind. As the saying goes, “If we don’t know where we’re going, any old road will get us there.”

Before we even “pull out of the driveway” with our communications, we should think about where we’re going. For example, is the goal to inform? Encourage? Advise? Teach? Inspire? After we have our goal clearly in mind, we can begin the intentional path to reach that destination.

Sometimes that path is like a quick trip to a friend’s house or sometimes it is a circuitous route with many twists and turns and maybe an unexpected road hazard along the way. But, as long as we keep our destination in mind, our communications can take us on the adventure of a lifetime.