Three men set out on a journey, each determined to take their own route. The first set off without clearly defining his destination, and within the first hour he threw away his map. Along the way, he asked the people he encountered, or looked at signs along the road, to find out where he was. When he learned something about his current locale, he would think, "Ah, exactly where I wanted to go next." He knew that no one could criticize him for where he had arrived, because he had no clear destination in mind and could therefore never be off course. And he was only mildly perturbed when he learned that he traveled in circles, because at least he was in motion.
The second man was more clear about where he wanted to go, and he told many people of his intended destination. With great purpose, he set off in the direction he thought best and with great confidence he followed his own internal compass. He kept his map close and he spoke to many people along the journey, but they were of little value. When he consulted the map and learned that it indicated a different route than he had chosen, he assumed that the map was outdated. And when the people he encountered suggested a better way to reach his destination than the route he was taking, he assumed that they were mistaken or even malicious in their intent. Without regard for reality or the counsel of others, he stuck to his own sense of how to get to his destination. He has yet to draw close to it, and it is more and more difficult for him to hide his frustration each day.
The third man had a clear destination in mind, and he shared it with others. He consulted many guidebooks and maps, and when he was satisfied that the accumulated knowledge was sufficient, he began the journey. As he encountered people along the way, he shared with them about his path and his destination. If any had advice or suggestions, he weighed it carefully, considering whether it had merit and adjusting his plan accordingly. Along the way, he planned future destinations and thought about where later journeys might take him, while still holding to the purpose of the path he was on. Although he took time to enjoy the journey, he was also intentional about making at least a little forward progress each day.
A balance of confidence and humility makes any destination more attainable and any journey more enjoyable.