If you’ve ever been around a child learning to walk up a flight of stairs, you might notice two things: (1) excitement and wonder are constants, and (2) a sense of accomplishment is clear when reaching the top all by one’s self.

A third observation may come about if you have the ability to watch that same child go up the stairs multiple times a day: getting up the stairs with greater excitement and greater accomplishment are positively correlated with having a goal at the top of those stairs. In my case, my 14 month old can take three or four times as long to get up the same flight of stairs without a prompt, vision or goal. When given the goal to find the dog at the top of the stairs, or get a special snack, or play with toys on the second floor, my little one will move up those stairs with momentum and anticipation — dare I say abandon?

Adults are not too dissimilar from toddlers learning to climb stairs. If we don’t have clear vision, goals, and feelings of anticipation, we might just take days, years, or decades to get where we want to go. Yes – you’ll eventually get to your destination, but the same journey will take two or three (or more!) times longer. For those of you who want to create lives of meaning, to impact the world, to reach your full potential, find a vision or goal and get going. It doesn’t matter if you end up changing your goal mid-way, just having one will be the exact propeller needed to get you closer to where you’re headed.