There is a huge difference between being obsessed with one’s daily performance and simply becoming oblivious due to busyness.
We often overlook how subtle failures or choices that deviate us from our chosen path can morph into ruthless blackholes with tremendous escape velocity.
And it isn’t as though failure, itself, is such a bad thing. It’s not. It’s fantastic.
But it is what you choose to do with that failure that counts. Holding what went wrong in your mind and analyzing what you could have done differently, or better, is the key to mastering your craft and yourself. It is the nonchalant sweeping under the rug of those failures that begins to cascade into your eventual avalanche of demise.
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” - Voltaire
Owning our mistakes and our own performance is not new advice. We have heard it since we were in the first grade. But we humans have the tendency to brush off the small slip-ups. Society tells us that it is okay to “ease up the ole belt loop” every now and then.
“Everyone makes mistakes.”
“You’re good enough.” And, as true as this statement is, it is what we allow it to do to our vision and psyche that causes the most damage.
Isn’t it interesting that, most of the time, no matter how windy, foggy, rainy, or snowy the weather happens to be, that airplanes always make it to their destination? Sure, technology is a beautiful thing, I get it. Half of us millennials wouldn’t know what to do with a paper road map and a compass. Without Siri, we’d still be circling a roundabout somewhere.
What is key to the plane’s success is that the pilots make very subtle corrections to their course, continuously along the flight. Do you know how far off a plane would be from its destination even if it were off by a few feet at the time of take off?
From Los Angeles to New York, alone, would more than likely place the plane across several state lines, much less on the specific runway.
Or think of an archer. Standing a few yards away from the target, it is much easier to place the arrow within the bullseye. Yet, place the archer a hundred yards away from the target, and even the slightest flinch will cause the arrow to completely miss the target.
Even when I was learning how to train Labrador retrievers for blind retrieves in competition, the surest way to ensure that the dog made his way to the bird was to keep him in line with the marker. If the dog veered off the line even just a little, it was much more efficient to stop them, turn them just a little, then send them back on the same line that they started.
Subtle course correction.
So, why is this important?
Well, when applied to our goals in life, we often don’t follow this same advice.
We end up opening our eyes one day and we realize that we have lived half of our existence and we haven’t even come close to accomplishing our life long goals. We have a lifetime supply of tomorrows and a trashcan full of empty yesterdays. And the thought of starting from scratch can be crippling once we plot out our timeline to success.
And don’t think that this gaping canyon in your life can simply be filled with a shiny new red Miata. Because it can’t.
The key is to choose to stop the widening of the gap, first. Then slowly build up the walls until there is no void left.
Does this sound like you? Because it was where I found myself four years ago.
I could not possibly accomplish what I wanted to in this life and continue to be the same person that I was. It just doesn’t happen that way. We have to be willing to let go, day by day, of the person that we are, to become what our new role requires of us.
There can be no resurrection without a crucifixion.
Too often we chalk up our future to hopes and wishes with zero planning involved. How many planes would you board if during the flight announcements the pilot casually mentioned, “Well folks, its a cool 65 degrees in Atlanta this morning. We hope that we make it to the airport. Not just on time, but at all. We haven’t really plotted out our course, but I have a feeling that you lovely passengers have brought just enough hopeful wishing on board that we just may come close to the runway this time. Now sit back and enjoy the flight.”
- How have you piloted your own life, thus far?
- What does your ten year destination look like? Sound like? Feel like?
- Do you even have a GPS? Compass? Paper map? Freshly licked finger held up to the wind? What are you using?
- How long have you been off course? How far off course?
- What will your course correction look like? When will it begin?
There is a reason that the most successful people in this world have a morning routine. Because it works. Whether it be journaling, prayer, meditation, or affirmations. The most successful, and fulfilled people have a plan for their day; for their week; their year; and their life.
Correcting your course, daily, is a choice. You can choose to continue to live reactively, or you can gain the momentum necessary to succeed by living proactively and avoiding self-sabotage.
Control your day; control your destiny.
Need a place to start? Check out our Free 14 Day Journal!