The Joy of Going Nowhere

Fall riverside

We live in a world hell-bent on going somewhere.

Questions like,

“What is your five year plan?”

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“What are your dreams?”

bring valuable focus and direction to our lives. But an emphasis on “doing, doing, doing” has its downside. All our harried living in pursuit of goals complicate life, stress us out, and can push us into obsessive-compulsive performance.

I am at a stage of life where I’m done with the sole pursuit of professional goals. I suppose that it is easier to do this in one’s seventies when everything is slowing down anyway. However, in reality, I wish I’d had this focus many years ago. I know that such a perspective on life is difficult in our society, especially for men who find their primary identity in work.

So here is what happened.

We moved to the country in N. New Mexico just outside of a small village, got rid of a lot of “stuff”, and gave our television away. We planted fruit trees, learned how to fish again, and named our property


We find it amusing to say that we live on the road to nowhere (our driveway). But the name is more than an amusing aside. We intentionally named our retreat in the woods and on a river to reflect aspirations for a new and centering lifestyle. We can now experience all of our senses here in the country in a way a city does not afford us, we appreciate all the seasons, and discover that going nowhere is the essence of simplified living, being awake to our world, and greatly reduces the perpetually chattering mind.

My wife and I have not felt this level of joy in many years.

You may not be at the stage of life where you can relocate to the country but you can find islands of tranquility where you can experience that presence is peace.

How have you (can you) pulled this off?

About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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4 Responses to The Joy of Going Nowhere

  1. Michele Rapp says:

    Hi Cedric. Wonderful to hear about your new home. Friends of mine live on Goodenough Road in VT! Also, you might like 2 books I just read: Slow City and 12×12 by William Powers.
    Michele (friends of the Neuslists)

  2. smile breathe and go slowly says:

    The road to Nowhere…love that! I’ve named my car…never thought of naming my home…good idea for when I finally get to the country again. For now I am in suburbia…single mom to three and moving not in the cards – YET. It will come..until then I find my tranquility in hiking. We have some beautiful trails not far away 🙂

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