Maybe it is my West Virginia roots or maybe it is the many times I’ve made that winding trip over the mountains between Westminster, SC and Cleveland, TN (back when it was little more than a pig trail) for the last forty-plus years, but whatever the reason—I truly enjoy driving in the mountains.
There is an art to driving in the mountains. To navigate those curves you don’t look at how bad the curve is or the steep precipice just inches away from your tires, instead, you stay focused on where you’re going—that spot just up ahead.
Cross country bikers will tell you the same thing. When you come to a tight spot, you don’t focus on the gully and tangle of trees and vines on the left or the massive rocky cliff on your right; you focus on the narrow gap in the middle which is your way through. Head straight for the gap and—bingo!—you’ve made it.
This principle works in many areas of life.
For example, how many times have you gone out to eat with your special someone and ruined what could have been an otherwise good evening because you got in an argument about which restaurant to go to or because one of you was not driving the way the other one wanted or some other petty pet peeve and the evening was ruined. You got side-tracked. You got your attention off where you were going (a good meal with someone you loved) and instead got focused on petty side-issues that didn’t contribute one positive thing toward the goal.
We play this scenario out every day. Call it office politics, church fights, cutting people off in traffic just so you can get to the traffic light first…whatever. All of these things are drainers that make the journey so much harder.
Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Stay focused on where you want to go in life. There will always be plenty of distractions and disturbances vying for your attention. Don’t look! Stay focused on the gap—and go for it.
- The ONE THING for today: Determine upfront what a meaningful win looks like and give that your full attention and full effort.
“His central tenet was simple and applies to nearly all forms of business as well as political communications: Find the strongest reason in an argument and marshal all the available facts behind it.”
_Jonathan Littman, We Shall Not Fail: The Inspiring Leadership of Winston Churchill