To draw on a quote from novelist James Baldwin: trust the ground beneath your feet. Don’t be quick to trust the path: it is ever-changing. But all paths start with one step, on the same ground.

You may have fallen before. Sometimes it isn’t your fault – a stone you tripped over, or uneven terrain – and sometimes it is. Maybe you’ve tripped over your own feet.

Know where you came from. Know who you are, what you want to do for the world, and what impression you want to leave others with. If you know where you came from, then you can go anywhere.

It is easier to move forward when you are confidant in your steps. Believe you are going in the right direction.  Your footprints in the mud –  be them towards a dream, destiny, or dead end –  will lead you somewhere. Somewhere might be a fresh start. It might be a fulfillment of your hard work. And it might be a lesson to be learned.

You’ll never stop learning, as long as you are alive. Learning about yourself, and the world, and learning from your mistakes and from others. As you continue learning, you will continue walking. Dreams are not terminating; they are not simply reached and then ignored. The fulfillment of a dream is recognizing the hard work along the way; it is beginning to understand the path that you took to get there.

The path behind you may be confusing. You need not dwell on it, because somewhere inside of you, you already know the answers for which you so desperately search. With that being said, though, understanding the past is a terrific way of preparing for the future. Predicting the future, though… that’s a whole other thing.