If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”

—Seneca, ancient Roman philosopher & statesman

Image from Unsplash by Christian Wiediger

What things in life get you excited and stir your passions? What activities and efforts really float your boat?  How fast and how far have these winds taken you personally and professionally?

Sometimes people find themselves adrift in the middle of nowhere without direction. They often feel lost at sea with a sense of queasiness and loneliness without a place to drop anchor. It’s at such times that our passions can be combined with the purpose of a north star to guide us home.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you more fully combine both passion and purpose in your life to sail confidently and contently into the welcoming harbors of your world?

Carry a compass and let it point the way.

Carry a compass and let it point the way.

Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Aaron Burden

Which navigation app do you prefer — Google Maps or Waze?

When was the last time you used an actual (paper) map? When, if ever, have you used a compass? I’d have to go back over 50 years to my Boy Scout days!

Getting from here to there by car has never been easier. Since Google owns both apps and has a virtual monopoly on the navigation market, they probably do not care much about which platform you choose. They win either way.

What navigation resources do you use to point you to the true north of your life? What forces and magnetic powers do you summon to show you the way? How do you find your way around the detours, roadblocks, potholes, and winding roads to get where you want to go?

EXERCISE:

What are the compasses you use to guide your life? How do they work to help you find your way in both the bright and dark aspects of your days?

“You cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction.”

“You cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction.”

—Edward de Bono, Author of Six Thinking Hats

Image from Unsplash by marianne bos

Many of us are doing a lot more thinking about our thinking these days. With things changing all around us, most of us are taking significantly more time to explore our perspectives, attitudes, and values.

Where has this expanded and broader view taken you? Where are you simply looking harder in the same direction, hoping for the old normal?

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you move beyond looking harder in the same direction to take some new and courageous steps in a better direction?

Please reply to this post with any insights you are inspired to act upon today.

“Be your own compass.”

“Be your own compass.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by AbsolutVision

To what degree have you felt lost over the past several months?

Where did you once have clarity in your life, and to what extent do things now seem to be foggy?

Now is the time to be your own compass, to verify your “True North” and set forth with more confidence and commitment.

What are the values, beliefs, and priorities that generate the magnetic field within you, keeping you on course regardless of small or mountainous issues along the way?

EXERCISE:

How do you know when you are on the right path?

What personal or professional adjustments will you make today to better follow your own inner compass?

“The best way to ride a horse is in the direction in which it is going.”

“The best way to ride a horse is in the direction in which it is going.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Annika Treial

A fair percentage of the coaching engagements I’ve been involved in over the years have related to career transitions. Two common terms for such assignments are on-boarding and assimilation coaching.

One of the more challenging and often stressful assignments is when a new leader or team is brought in to “turn around” an organization. In such situations the company/horse and the vast number of employees/riders are headed in different directions.

These assignments almost always involve casting a more inspiring vision and enrolling others in changing direction toward a better future.

EXERCISE:

Assuming you are proactively taking steps to lead and manage your own career trajectory, what strategies and tactics can and will you take to lasso those horses and get in the saddle of those headed in a direction you would like to travel?

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”

—Brian Tracy, Canadian-American motivational speaker/author

Image from Unsplash by Isaac Smith

Do yourself a big favor and set some worthy goals for the new year.

If you are like many of us, you are thinking, I do this every year, or maybe why bother?

Perhaps, like many people, you stick to your resolutions until sometime in February, when things fall apart due to bad weather, waning discipline, or competing priorities at home or work.

Whatever you do or don’t do, you can bet that changes are coming. The question to ask yourself is whether you are going to control their direction, or simply react to whatever comes your way.

EXERCISE:

Please consider improving your odds of success by adding a variety of social and structural supports. To learn more about how to do this, put the book Influencer – The Power to Change Anything on your holiday and new year reading list.

“If you do not change directions, you may end up where you are headed.

“If you do not change directions, you may end up where you are headed.”

—Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Jammie Templeton

As part of my coaching discovery process, I ask prospective clients to answer a number of questions that help them fully examine the potential value of us working together.

These questions help them expand what is working, and impact what is not. For many individuals, the following question provokes considerable interest:

What do you expect to achieve in your professional
and personal life, given your current plans, strategies,
and general direction?

Given time to explore this question fully, most people see the need to change course if they are to fully realize their highest priority goals and not end up where they are currently heading.

EXERCISE:

Consider answering this question for yourself and discussing any insights and potential actions you plan to take with a friend, colleague, mentor, family member, or coach.

Feel free to reply to this post with what value you create.

“Turn in the direction of the skid.”

“Turn in the direction of the skid.”

—Driving School adage

Image from Unsplash by Meghan Schiereck

Having lived in Michigan over half my life, I’ve experienced my share of icy roads! Before front or four-wheel drive, traction control, and the latest in snow tire technology, today’s quote was the best advice and coaching to avoid or minimize accidents.

How do you try to control the many aspects of your life? How fast are you going these days? How many icy patches are you experiencing on your personal and professional roads through life?

It turns out the more we slam on the brakes and over-steer, the worse things become.

EXERCISE:

Where is it appropriate for you to fully embrace an icy patch or two in your world? How can you calmly turn into these skids to get back on the road to a better life?

“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor

Image from Unsplash by Nik MacMillan

How coachable are you? How open and receptive are you to the guidance, direction and influences of others in your professional or personal life?

I begin working with all new clients with an all-day, one-on-one workshop in my office to clarify and fully align on the specific goals and objectives we intend to produce. With this up-front investment to align our objectives we can optimize the full benefit and value of our relationship.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you enhance the receptivity and coach-ability of yourself and those around you by doing the up-front work of assuring shared goals for your efforts?

Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat

“Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.”

—Jean-Paul Sartre, 20th Century French Philosopher and Playwright

Image of men rowing against a black background

Image from Unsplash by Josh Calabrese

What is your immediate interpretation of today’s quote? Is being a boat rocker a bad thing or a good thing? How much does it depends on where the boat is headed?

Most people, on many occasions, tend to go along to get along. They do not want to be seen as individuals who are not pulling their weight. If and when they do stop rowing and stand up to look around, the other rowers will often apply peer pressure to have them sit down and get back with the program.

Conformity and going with the flow just doesn’t suit the vision, values, and sense of self for many folks these days. They feel compelled to stand up and look toward an alternate horizon more in alignment with their true selves. The boat rocking may result in them jumping ship or being forced to walk the plank due to the apparent disconnect or perceived mutiny observed by the boat’s captain and crew.

EXERCISE:

Where are your personal and professional boats headed? In which situations is it warranted to put more of your legs and back into your rowing efforts, or stand up and rock the boat, to either change its direction or jump ship?