LOOK! …where you want to go >>
Look familiar? Our state highway administrations carve these rumble strips (seen on left) into the shoulders of our roads and especially in areas where we are prone to fall asleep at the wheel. So a fair assumption, from the title here, might be that I wanted to write about the business metaphor for … falling asleep at the wheel. Nope. Good guess, though. 😉
Elaine has been cutting my hair for many years and we usually talk about what’s new. Well, her youngest son just started driving and I said, “Wow, I can’t even imagine how stressful that must be for a parent.” She went on to tell me how — to her amazement and wonder — her son (wide awake) recently drifted over into the rumble strips. She just shook her head after sharing this with me, so I asked if I could share a coaching tip…
“Tell your son: LOOK! …where you want to go,” I said. It’s that simple — so simple, in fact, it almost seems too easy. How could it be so easy? If you ask aircraft pilots, motorcycle instructors and driving teachers, this may be the most valuable advice they could ever share. I, myself, learned this from taking a motorcycle safety course and I’ve heard this same advice from someone who has learned to fly a military jet…
Remember when you were a kid, riding along on your bicycle? Every once in a while you’d see a twig or branch on your path, right? Do you remember what would happen if you fixated on that obstacle? Of course you do, you’d run right over it! “But how could that be?” you may have wondered then and even wonder today. “Why did I run over the very thing I was looking to avoid?” It’s simple, really:
When your eyes are focused on something along your path, your hands will steer you right into it.
And therein lies the metaphor for business; for life. LOOK! …where you want to go. It’s quite remarkable, really. Both in its simplicity and in its effectiveness. If you choose to focus upon those obstacles that are in your way — and stay focused on them — I promise that you’ll run right into them. Every time. No exceptions.
So what’s the solution? Well, it’s much like thinking that you can “break” a bad habit. If you’re focused on breaking a bad habit, you’re still focused on … the bad habit; the very thing you want to avoid. The key is to acknowledge, then replace. Replace that bad habit with the right/good one — then your focus is upon the good habit — you’ve set your sights upon the goal — you are now looking … where you want to go.
So, of course we can’t just ignore something and hope it will go away. It’s important that we acknowledge it, then (quickly) look away from it and onto where it is that we want to go.
Acknowledge >> Look Beyond and Ahead >> Go
Rocket science? No. Invaluable life lesson? You bet.
I’d love to hear about your thoughts and your own experiences on this topic. I expect many of you will have something to share.