This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless.
I don’t want to be a Jedi, but Yoda’s words are relevant. I find myself looking to the future far too often. In itself this isn’t a bad thing. I do want adventure and I do want excitement, there is nothing wrong with having those in my life. I believe we should have goals and ambitions, things that we want and would like to do. My problem, and perhaps yours, is that I often spend so much time looking at that horizon, I forget to look at my footsteps.
There is no point dreaming of a destination without wondering how you’ll get there. It is useless wanting to be somewhere else, without taking the appropriate steps. Once again, I find myself in that same situation. If I want to achieve something, I have to make sure I get the here and now sorted.
Currently point A, where I am, and point B, where I want to be, are a long way apart. I’m not going to sit back and just dream of what could be, to live in a fantasy of ‘if only’ and ‘wouldn’t that be nice’. I am going to get to point B. This isn’t about travel, but the metaphor works well. I will create a map, with the various steps marked out. I’ll use the map to guide my feet, to take each step, with the destination clearly marked and coming into view. That’s the metaphor, now for the practical.
How to get there, from here
- Decide what your goal / destination is
- Break the journey into small steps
- Always have the next small step as a current focus
- (But) Remind yourself of the big prize – keep it in view
- If a next step is overwhelming break it into smaller steps (next actions1)
- Take a next step every day, or as often as is possible
- Reward yourself for the steps you take along the way
- Be accountable – if possible have others who can prod and prompt you
- Remove other distractions – you may have to give some things up, to take the steps
I have a dream, a goal and a destination. Time to draw my map. That’s my first step, what is yours?
1 Next actions are a much better way of looking at the the steps. David Allan’s Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity
is a great tool for learning how to break things down into next actions.