Lost without a map?
In the military, we practice using a map and a compass to get us from where we are to where we need to be, often called the objective. A map is a great tool for planning the best route to get from here to there and a compass ensures that you are moving in the right direction.
In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about paradigms. He explains that trying to navigate in Chicago with a map of Detroit would only get you lost. His point is that you need to be looking at the right map to get from one place to another. But, what if you do not know where you are, or where you are going? At that point, even the right map is not helpful.
The same is true for the compass. It can always show you where your reference is (north), but if you do not know the direction you need to take, the compass may only be good enough to tell you which direction to look to watch the sun set as time passes.
Where am I going?
As Charles Jones said, “we will be the same person in 5 years except for 2 things: the people we meet and the books we read.” If that is true, who you meet and what you read weighs heavily upon where you go in life. Just like the right map and a working compass heavily determines if you reach your objective during land navigation.
So, how do you know if you are meeting the right people and reading the right books? Without an objective in mind and a realistic understanding of where you are today, you may use the wrong map or point your compass in the wrong direction. To make the best use of time, you need to be selective about the books you read and the people you meet. I encourage you to take an honest assessment of where you are today, dream about where you want to be in five years, map out the path to get you there and start following it.
- Where are you today on your personal and professional path?
- Where do you dream you will be in five years?
- Do you need to change your direction to get there?
- Who are the top three people you need to meet this year to get you closer to your dream?
- What is stopping you from meeting them?