Have you ever seen a Styrofoam cup floating in the ocean? It bobs up and down, side-to-side; it is constantly moving, but it is all over the place. It is in motion but has no direction. That Styrofoam cup is similar to a lot of our lives…we have a lot of activity, but we’re going no where. Just drifting with no direction.  Direction is essential; you’ve got to know what you want to get it, and you’ve got to know where you’re going to get there! Think about it… would you ever enroll yourself to run a marathon without any knowledge of a finish line?

Let’s take this a step further… Imagine you are the starting pitcher for the LA Dodgers, and you were going to play the LA Angels in the championship game (since this would be a rare occasion, I thought it was safe to use them in my scenario).  I handed you a glove and the game ball and said, “The game’s tonight at 7PM. You are going to be our starting pitcher and win the World Series championship game.” Then I dropped you off in the middle of no where and said, “Good luck!” and drove away… You are standing there with a mission: to get to Dodger stadium by 7PM. You have a goal: To win the World Series Championship game. You even have your tools: a glove and the game ball.  But what are you missing…? A map! A since of DIRECTION! You need to know where to go.

Steven Covey (author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) says you must begin with the end in mind:  “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination.  It means to know where you’re going so you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.”  You have to self-evaluate where you are now in significant areas of your life (mental, physical, personal, family, financial, career, spiritual). And the best part about this is you can start from where you are with what you’ve got and go to where it is you want to go. Humans can do the most remarkable things no matter what because it doesn’t depend on your circumstances!

Where you end up is a result of the conscious choices and decisions you make based on the things you value; it’s NOT a product of your conditions based on feeling.

In order to know what you want, you must be clear on what’s important to you…ask yourself what really matters; what do you value?  By keeping that clearly in mind and focusing on it, you’ll gain direction and make sure that whatever you do doesn’t betray the measures of what you’ve defined as supremely important, and each day of your life can contribute in a meaningful way to your overall purpose.

Direction is so much more important than speed. Many people are going nowhere fast. Once a direction is set, you can increase or decrease speed.  I keep this in mind when thinking about my goals and dreams. There are times in my life when walking is the right speed, and then times when I’m ready to run, or sometimes even fly towards my destination.  On the other end of the spectrum, I might be at a point where all I can do is crawl. But a crawl is still movement; a crawl in the right direction is still getting me a little bit closer to the destination of my choice—I’m still making progress. Having a clear direction allows me to vary the throttle (or speed) and keeps my under control.

Be clear about where you want to go, understand where you are now, and start taking conscious steps towards where you want to be.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Blessings and love,

Marti Reed

Marti Reed