If you travel, you’ll appreciate the story I’m about to tell. Furthermore, you will benefit from the learning I gained when I saw the words you never want to see on the status board…
Crap, I thought, here we go – another long, wasted night.
To my shock, my traveling partner was not miffed at all. Instead, he was staring at the board with a quiet intensity and determination. I was perplexed – it isn’t complicated – cancelled is cancelled. Time to get a room and try again in the morning.
“Baltimore”, he mumbled, “We could get to Baltimore.”
What?! I was confused. I asked him what that had to do with our need to get to Washington DC for our meeting.
He looked at me very nonchalantly and said – “Always move forward.” That was his only explanation.
I started to walk with him as he moved to the next gate – “What do you mean?” I asked.
“The key to travel”, he said, “is to never stop. Always move forward. As soon as you stop you’re dead. Do anything and everything to keep moving in some way, shape or form toward your destination.”
“Whatever”, I mumbled. I was too frustrated to argue. But low and behold, 5 hours later we arrived in our hotel (in DC) tired, but ready for the meeting at 8:00 the next morning!
While that trip was months ago, I was struck with a thought. Why not use the same philosophy for our lives? Always move forward. Don’t let anything cause you to stop forward progress or piss away opportunities by slipping into default. Move toward your destination without exception or delay.
Don’t waste another day – start with the following:
1. Clarify your Destination: Too many people go through life without a clear and compelling destination. How about you – can you clearly articulate where you want to be, personally and professionally, in 3 years? If not, what guides your weekly decision-making and priorities?
As the classic quote so eloquently states: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Take time to decide where you want to go. Be Deliberate. Draft a desired Journey. Set goals and objectives to focus your energy, allocate your resources and inspire you to move beyond life’s cancelled flights.
2. Beef up your Resolve and Determination: Quitting is always the path of least resistance. It’s easy. When your life is “pretty good” it doesn’t even seem like quitting. Do you have the inner fortitude (and willingness to be vulnerable) to stay in the game and keep pushing forward? Are you determined enough to use the inevitable failures and setbacks as motivational learning opportunities? If not, take time to build your resolve and determination before getting started. Find a coach to help you gain the insight, skills and willpower to stay the course and always move forward.
3. Achieve a Victimless Mindset: Look at setbacks as opportunities and not deal breakers. Don’t allow yourself to be controlled by what happens to you. Embrace it, accept it and then modify it to get where you want to be. You have the power to choose. Through choice, you can never be a victim to circumstances. This is a hard lesson for some, but those that figure out the mindset are unstoppable. Do you just see the cancelled flight or do you see the scores of other potential destinations?
4. Strengthen the Relationship with your Travel Partner: Do you have a significant relationship in your life? Are you able to share your thoughts, fears, dreams and desires with someone? Is there a person to encourage you on the journey? If so, include them in this thinking and on the journey. Create a plan that inspires you both. Enjoy the journey as much as the eventual destination.
If not, take a hard look at your relationships and ask yourself why not? Take efforts to build and foster this type of supportive, significant partnership. It is worth the effort.
So how did you do with this checklist – are you ready to stop wasting time and start “moving forward?”
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