If I was to hand you a compass and I told you to go 45 degrees southwest for 1-mile… could you do it?
Chances are, even if you have never used a compass before, you could probably do it with only being a few degrees off.
The question now becomes, would being a few degrees off make much of a difference?
In this particular example, all would be chill. You would more-or-less end up at the same destination because it was over such a short distance.
However, what if a pilot was 2 degrees off his charted destination after he had flown thousands of miles?
Now we would be in
a little bit of big trouble because we would be VERY FAR from where we wanted to end up.
So where am I going with this?
A lot of people have a general idea where they want to end up in life. However, because they don’t periodically stop to make sure they are on the right course, they often don’t realize they’re headed off-course until it’s too late.
Maybe you’ve experienced this before. Where all of a sudden you wonder how you ended up in a particular situation or how things got so bad.
A practical example we can probably all relate to (at least at some point in our lives) is debt. Most people prefer to be ignorant to their finances and rather than create a budget, they “wing it”, until one day “winging it” leads to a serious financial problem. Another example could waiting until our once loose-fitting clothes become slim-fit before we realize we should have made healthy eating and exercise a priority.
3 Ways To Prevent Yourself From Getting Thrown Off Course
So how can you prevent yourself from getting thrown off course?
- HAVE A GRAND PERSONAL VISION: A mentor of mine once told me “the moment can be deceiving”. What he meant by this is often times we are so focussed on the short-term, the here-and-now, that it distracts us from the bigger picture. That’s why it’s incredibly important to have a grand vision for your entire life that encompasses your work, your being and your lifestyle. For without a grand personal vision for your life, you cannot begin to differentiate distracting opportunities from those that actually move you closer to your dreams and aspirations.
- FOCUS ON OUTCOMES: Have you ever had a day go by where you were busy the entire day, yet you still felt unsatisfied with what you accomplished? I know I have… many times! It’s always when I start to become addicted to the feeling of being busy versus accomplishing a specific outcome. That’s why rather than getting lost in to-do lists, typically I prefer to map out tangible outcomes for the day. Hint: outcomes lead to RESULTS… and RESULTS are the only thing that leads to progress being made. Once those outcomes are accomplished, THEN I sprinkle in my “busy” work.
- REFLECT WEEKLY: Set aside time weekly to reflect and deconstruct the week. This seems common sense, but it is far from common practice. You should ask yourself questions like; what worked well this week? what could I improve upon next week? was I happy with how I spent my time? did I move closer to manifesting my personal vision? Only when you consistently ask yourself questions like this, can you begin to determine whether or not you’re getting thrown off course.
The bottom line is: it’s easy to enter autopilot mode in life. You need to consciously train yourself to be aware of where you’re headed in your life. Remember, even if you’re off by 1° degree, over the long-term it becomes dangerous. So have a grand personal vision for your life, focus on outcomes and reflect weekly.