In town, out of town, day at camp, messy house, rinse and repeat. This is what my life has felt like lately. After a few crazy weeks I have been desperately trying to get back on track with my reading. My goal for this year is to read 80 books and the entire bible in a year. I finished books 69 and 70 this weekend and I’m 73% through the bible (Kindle perk: percentages). One of the books I finished was Michael Hyatt’s ‘Platform’. If you haven’t read it and you’re about to ask, I would recommend it IF you’re interested in marketing a brand (even if that brand is yourself) through a blog and/or Social Media.
Anyway, what I wanted to talk about is drifting. In Chapter five of Platform, Hyatt talked about ‘The Drift’. He says, ‘you start out with one thing in mind and then, without consciously intending to do so, end up in an entirely different location’. What really struck me about this is how applicable it is to our lives not just our business ventures. Later in the same chapter he writes, ‘Will you take a stand for the original vision or will you – and everyone else in the room – be swept out to sea, drifting along with the current, oblivious to what is happening?’. This is life, isn’t it? That if you get lazy for a second, you drift. Who you started out trying to be, the person you were passionate about becoming can so easily end up a few miles upstream from who you are.
I am painfully aware of the ease of this. I am a lover of life and as such I find myself easily distracted. Things come up, people need me, travels entice me, and before I know it I’ve got my head thrown back laughing on top of an inner-tube headed downstream. I worry sometimes about how ‘prone to wander’ I am.
Hyatt later makes a great suggestion that I couldn’t resist sharing. He says that you should write down your goals every year (I do this and I echo his suggestion) and then every single day, review them. Not once a week, month, or year but every single day go back over that list. He suggests this because A. you’ll be more likely to accomplish them but B. they act as a filter in which the rest of your life has to make it through. If you’ve constantly got your goals in mind than it is easier to say no to anything that doesn’t bring you closer to them.
Before you freak out, remember, you pick these goals. This is not me standing here saying you review your goals and then go through every day like a drill sergeant or a robot. These goals are what you list as the most important focuses for your year.
Hear me when I say I do not mean bad things when I say I’m easily distracted. I don’t mean that I’m going buck wild over here. Getting off course is typically pretty subtle. But it can mean that the big, important things take a back burner to the time killers of day to day life. And for those of us ‘yes people’ who can’t resist being everyone’s go-to-gal, it gives us a filter in which we can step back and realize ‘this really isn’t in my plan’.
Do I mean that you should be too focused to travel, enjoy life, and spend time with friends? No. Actually, all of those things are ON my goal list. I’m on a mission to visit all 50 states (checked 2 off this year) and my final and probably most important goal in 2013 was to ‘live simple and dream big’. I spend much of my time investing in and being invested in by people. Nothing about this anti-drifting mentality changes that. What is does do is keep the right things the right things.
I do have a fear of waking up a few years from now realizing that I’m miles downstream from where I intended to be and without intentionality, that’s exactly where I will be. When you hear people talk about riptides they always say the scary part is that the drifting is so subtle you don’t notice it until you’re in danger. You’re swimming along, laughing with you friend, and all the sudden you realize you’re out to sea. That’s not how I want my life to be. That 30, 35, 40 come along and I haven’t accomplished my goals, achieved what’s important, or become who I set out to be.
So who’s with me? Let’s review our goals, stay on track, and make sure we know where we’re headed.