Or out of a store, out of a new car showroom, or hung up on a telemarketer?
How about changing your mind in a voting booth or during a job interview or on a date mid-way through dinner?
Every moment, and every decision, is subject to change without notice – for wide-ranging causes, or logic-free trigger-tripping events of new information, or just because we felt like it. Every day offers an opportunity to change direction, reevaluate purpose, start something or end something – as long as we are alive.
I’ve often met extremely successful people of unlikely beginnings who’ve done marvelous things – without a roadmap, without a compass, and often without a clairvoyant dream vision. They did things that worked, then next-things which seemed ‘what comes next’ without a long term vision, without an org-chart or critical-path software, and without a mission statement or long term strategic plan.
And we are all too familiar with that old chestnut: Those who failed to plan, planned to fail ...
I’ve been wondering lately about a ‘long-term vision’ – whether it’s good to have one or not – and whether having any kind of long-term plan predicts success or happiness.
I’m entirely unconvinced of the wisdom of every argument I ever made, but I was absolutely convinced when I made it.
I realize, more and more, that for things I’ve dreamed of doing, nobody is going to shove me off the cliff – I’m going to have to shove myself. I don’t like heights, and I don’t like falling … but it seems like time for a leap of some kind. Time and daylight are in short supply, so there is no time to waste.
Am I, or are you, past the point of no return?
It’s always nice to start early in the day.
Have a full tank and a map.
And a compass.
Any turning point in our lives is much driving down what you believe to be the right road.
But without a map or road signs. Self-doubt creeps in.
We question if we are traveling the right road. We see a declining gas gauge; it’s getting late and getting dark – and we must decide. To stop? Keep going, or turn back? Take another route?
Making the place we are our turn-around point might be too soon or too late, but the whole gut-twist process of deciding to move ahead v. turning back is both exhilarating and stressful.
Everyone can understand this analogy if we are talking about a road trip over hill and valley on unmarked gravel roads – a wilderness adventure.
I don’t recall being sure of my direction since I was sixteen and abandoned my dream of being a tennis pro. In those days, tennis pros didn’t make much money, but they had groupies and pretty girlfriends. I liked that idea. I was good enough to have the dream, but not confident enough that I was good enough to fulfill that dream. If I’d been born in a warmer climate with pushy parents who had lots of money for coaching, that might have played out differently.
If only …
We all have our ‘if only’ stories of how things might have worked out differently if we’d thought differently or cared more about something at an earlier age. But we didn’t, and fretting about it now has little value – unless we learn something from that reflection.
Now ask this again – of yourself, of your life path, are you past the point of no return?
Or are you lost?
Are you going exactly where you wanted to go?
Do you still want to go the same way by the same route?