Often times, the hardest part of pursuing our goals is getting started. But after making that initial step and the subsequent steps required to build momentum, what do you do next? What do you do when you can see more than one path to that next level? You know there is something greater but just aren’t quite sure which route to take to get to it. How do you navigate when the path becomes foggy?
What is The Fog?
Welcome to the fog. The fog occurs after you’ve gained some experience in the pursuit of your goals. While in the fog, you can see yourself growing but aren’t sure where to go next. The fog is frustrating. The fog is confusing. And the fog is frustrating for one of two reasons… either you’ve hit a wall or there is more than one path to your next destination. Walls can be demolished. However, it’s the latter of the two issues that can occur in the fog that may trickier to figure out.
Navigating the Fog
Ever been outside when it’s really foggy? Normally, when it is foggy outside or the visibility is very limited due to weather conditions, we drive slowly in the event hazards lie ahead. I’m finding the same is true for navigating the fog in our lives. Most of the time, when you don’t know or are unsure about what steps to take next the best thing to do is to slow down. If you don’t slow down you can limit your ability to be prepared. You can navigate blindly into places you have nowhere being. Or worse, you can end up spending more time in the fog.
The easiest way to slow down is to scale back. This solution isn’t always obvious because we’re busy. It’s easy to hide or avoid the fact that we are in the fog with “busyness” (not business). There are times when moving can make us feel like we’re accomplishing things, but if our movements aren’t directed they may not be getting us any closer to our goals. If unchecked, busyness can thicken the fog we are in because we are operating without intention.
In the middle of the fog you have to scale back. Scaling back doesn’t mean you’re stopping. Scaling back doesn’t mean you’ve quit. Scaling back means pausing to think, reflect, observe, and plan so you can act with intention. You scale back to be sharper, to be directed, and to be intentional with your route to the next level.
Clearing the Fog
I am learning that clearing the fog requires direct intentional action. This means making time on a daily basis to plan and evaluate your goals. It also means cultivating purposeful relationships that provide the nutrients required to grow closer to your destination. (Caveat: Always remember relationships are two-way. That’s a post for another day.) Most importantly, clearing the fog requires guarding your time and knowing how to make the BEST use of it. There is a difference between using your time and making the BEST use of it. Making the BEST use of your time requires identifying activities that will provide the greatest return on investment.
Learning how to navigate and clear the fog is necessary because that is what moves us from being good to being GREAT. It’s one thing to have a tremendous amount of potential but learning how to fully extract that potential may not always be clear. Most of the time we have the answers but we get trapped in the fog and forget how to emerge from it. So, my challenge to you, as well as myself, is to invest time in both planning and executing. Scale back, reflect, write things down, identify the BEST use of your time, and execute! Clear the fog and chose the path to your next level!