In an article I read this week by Chris Trout*, he shares an interesting statistic that “a jet flying from New York to LA is off course 80% of the time.” Think about that – as you fly across the country, you could be off course 80% of the flight, and yet, still make it to your destination. Now Shawn, as an air traffic controller, can speak to that statistic better than me, but it still got me thinking.
What if that same statistic applies to us? Is it possible for us to be off track the majority of the time and still make it to our end goal?
I think so, and I want to share an interesting analogy in order to demonstrate my point.
My nephew joined the Children’s Choir at his church. Rehearsals are at 7pm on Sunday evenings. My sister KNOWS, without a doubt, that he will be in his seat in the front pew at 7pm on Sunday night, ready for rehearsal to begin. What she doesn’t know is HOW he is going to get there. He might choose to come in the back door, race down the center aisle and skid into the front pew just in time. Another possibility is that he walks in the side door, pauses to get a drink of water in the fountain, and saunters into the sanctuary with plenty of time to spare. There are endless choices that he might make including crawling under the pews, chatting with his friends or stopping to read the quotes on the stained glass windows. However, no matter which way he chooses, he will still be in the front pew at 7pm. In fact, the only way he won’t be in that pew on time is if he chooses to stand still and do nothing.
What’s important is that it really doesn’t matter which way he chooses to go. In fact, most of his choices – perhaps 80% of them – will even lead him temporarily off the course. However, as long as he moves, he will eventually reach his goal. As long as he makes a choice to walk forward, he will be presented with opportunities that will help him get there. He will also have experiences that will help him along the way.
The same is true of us. As we strive to create businesses, design websites and brochures, or decide upon our career paths, it doesn’t really matter HOW we get there. What matters is that we know WHAT we are trying to achieve. As long as we are clear about WHAT we want, we can begin to move forward, make choices, take action and slowly make our way there. Some of those choices will turn us off course. Some of those decisions and action steps will temporarily turn us in a different direction. But, with constant progress and small adjustments along the way, we will all reach our goals.
Based on some of the threads and the phone conversation last week, I wanted to share this thought today. When you are very clear about where you’re going, you can make choices that move you forward. Even if your decision throws you off course for a moment, you will still get to your goal if you keep your sights on it. And along the way, you will enjoy new opportunities and many experiences that will make the journey rewarding as well.
Your ‘front pew’ is waiting, so start walking!
And that’s just a thought…
*Chris Trout, “Are You Blocking Your Own Clarity,” http://www.strengthsinfocus.com/2012/01/are-you-blocking-your-own-clarity/