“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
Sometimes in our businesses and in our personal lives we get very focused on goals and initiatives, and often that’s a good thing. It’s important not to get distracted when something doesn’t go exactly how we’d hoped, and perseverance is certainly a positive. We can’t quit and change directions every time we’re faced with some kind of barrier – sometimes you have to fight through struggles and challenges to get where you want to go.
But what if “where you want to go” isn’t “where you’re supposed to be”? There is a fine line between perseverance and being a blockhead. Sometimes if you beat your head against a wall you’ll break through the wall – but sometimes you’ll just get a headache.
I don’t have a magic formula for calculating when your life plan or business plan is banging into a wall that won’t move. I think rather the idea is that we should always be aware that while today a certain path looks like the way to go, it’s possible that we’re wrong. It’s also possible that it is the right path today – but not tomorrow. We can never allow ourselves to become so fervent in our pursuit of what we want that we forget to stop and think about whether it’s really what’s best for us.
Most business leaders have some idea of where they want their organization to be. Think about the idea you have. Have you challenged it recently? Have you thought about the possibility that perhaps that isn’t the right path? Whether it’s time to change paths or not, the exercise of evaluating your hoped for destination can be very enlightening.
Ask yourself the same question about your personal life. Where is it you’ve always wanted to go? Is that really the best idea? Why? It’s easy to get a picture in our head of what we’d like to be, but sometimes that picture is only there because we don’t know what else to fill the space with.
Challenge yourself and your organization. Are we really living the life that’s waiting for us? If the answer is no, what are you going to change today?