Everyone has situational influences in their life that can push them in a given direction or change the opportunities that are available to them. The challenge before us all is to keep the focus on our goals, even when we are faced with opposition. You need to set your sails on the goal and adjust often.
It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind, that determines which way we will go. – Jim Rohn
That is a very easy thing to say and much harder thing to do. But if we can keep the goal in mind, and keep pointing our sails, as it were, to move us towards our goal we can get there.
If we fail to do so, the negative winds can push us off course very quickly, perhaps even accelerated by our poor positioning of the sails. The poor positioning and lack of self-discipline act to aid the negative wind instead of tacking into it.
Set Your Sails
Practically speaking, how do you set your sails? It is often actions we take every day that move us in a given direction. If we know we have tasks requiring our attention but do work toward them, then we have not pointed our sails. We could be even worse off than just dead in the water – we could be moving in the wrong direction.
Simple distractions can pull us away from our personal success. For example, if we watch TV instead of tackling our project, we could soon develop a habit that builds into a misdirection. We have inadvertently set our sails in the direction of that habit, and the negative winds ( possibly more TV ads showing the next great unique program to pull us away from our needed actions) are aided by our direction.
The Wind Beneath Our Sails
Other projects and events can cause similar problems, just as simply. The more we do a thing, the more details we discover the thing has. The greater the details and effect it has on our time, the greater the influence, the wind if you will. And the greater the wind, the greater the effect the direction of our sails have. It can very quickly push us off course and continue to accelerate in the wrong direction.
Take time to inspect a non-productive period. It often becomes readily apparent where the start of the misdirection happened. It was probably a simple thing that at first we did not notice until we were swept off in that direction.
Check The Course
How do we avoid this slight error in our course that soon becomes very destructive? We must take stock of our current actions in a timely manner, and look ahead to see where they lead. Take for example the old joke about the actor who took a job as a sheepherder while waiting for his break. After 15 years of herding sheep, he was definitely more sheepherder than an actor.
He should have looked at the direction his actions were leading. When the actions did not pay off as intended after a given time, he needed to change something. He needed to redirect his sails.
So, the question is simple – what is the set of your sails? Where is your success strategy taking you? It is an easy task to take the time to check our sail and see if we are on course. If we do not, we are guaranteed to be lost in the proverbial sea without even knowing the difference.