In October of this year I had the privilege of attending the Global Leadership Summit in Montego Bay Jamaica. Bill Hybels and team provide some great teaching and tools while the people at Jamaica Link Ministries do a nice job with the video venue.
Unfortunately, the afternoon of the second day of the conference was interrupted by word that my dad was taken by ambulance to the hospital. I spent time on the phone with my mom and with doctors. I was physically in Jamaica, but my mind was elsewhere. As the conference came to a close I headed toward The Strip and the airport. I didn’t know whether I should catch the next flight out or go get a bite to eat. I was driving along when I heard honking somewhere behind me. I turned to see what was going on and unknowingly drifted towards the curb. Seconds after I hit it I had a flat tire. I was able to pull over to survey the damage only to realize that there were actually TWO flat tires. When I lost focus on where I was going, I ended up somewhere I didn’t want to be.
The good news is that the people at the rental agency quickly got my car fixed and after two nights in the hospital, Dad was doing better and was released.
In the week prior to drifting into the curb, something had been on my mind. It was the idea that we don’t often, if ever, accidentally end up where we want to be in life. We have to know where we are trying to go and get there on purpose.
That night that I wrecked those tires, I didn’t know exactly where I was going. There were a variety of thoughts in my head and a variety of emotions that I was experiencing. Then, when a distraction came in the form of a car horn, something extremely common while driving in Jamaica, I ended up blowing my tires and stalled out beside the road.
Distractions are all around us and come in a variety of forms, many of them in and of themselves aren’t bad. A person with a goal of remodeling a couple of rooms in their house may end up distracted by the busyness of life with kids. A person working on finishing a college degree may get distracted by projects at work. Someone looking to launch a new business could be distracted by a favorite series on Netflix. There will be distractions, but if we know where we are going, we can make the necessary corrections and get back on track.
The start of a new year is just over a month away and new years are a great time to course correct. What if, instead of throwing out random resolutions for the next year, you were to come up with some real goals? Then, after identifying those goals, come up with a plan to accomplish them. For example, maybe your goal is to get a promotion by the end of the year. If that is your goal, say it. Then, come up with some steps that will move you towards your goal.
Maybe its time to create some bigger life goals. For example, Eve and I have a goal of equipping our kids to pursue the career/interests that they believe God has for them by the the time they leave our home. A few things that we are doing to help with this are: encouraging them to dream, encouraging them to discuss their dreams, looking for opportunities to be around others who are doing what they dream of doing. In Micah’s case, he has a dream of being a helicopter pilot so we are working to get him resources to begin learning about it now. The point is, this is a goal that will take place over the next 9 years.
If you are one of the many people that hasn’t had the privilege of being shown how to set effective goals, please allow me to share a couple of resources with you. Michael Hyatt has covered the topic more than once. The Beginners Guide to Goal Setting is a blog he did to help understand how to set goals (https://michaelhyatt.com/goal-setting.html). If you would rather listen to someone explain goal setting, Michael Hyatt does that in his “Goal Setting for Beginners” podcast (https://michaelhyatt.com/season-4-episode-08-goal-setting-for-beginners-podcast.html).
What do you want to accomplish? If you haven’t identified that, you will never accomplish it. We don’t drift towards success.