T.H.ursdays with Tom Hill
You discover yourself not perfectly aligned with the perfect path. You're still going towards where you want to go--the mountain is in front of you still. But somehow, you aren't on the yellow brick road anymore. You think to yourself, "How can I make it to the mountain if I'm not on that yellow brick road?" You try to get back on the path but it's hard. You're still facing the mountain. It's out there in front of you as you walk, but the course you're on is not the path. Yet you're moving towards the mountain even off the path.
The problems began when we looked at how far off the path we were. Too often we measure how we're doing based only on our perfect path, the yellow brick road. It's unfortunate because for sure we'll get diverted off the path. Something always comes along and diverts you off the track. If your assessment mechanism only looks how you're doing compared to the perfect track and you were always off that track--because life always happens--you might think you were doing something wrong.
Imagine this: stand up facing your mountain. The perfect course is a straight line directly from you towards the mountain. Now imagine going one or two or three degrees off that course. Move your finger slightly away from the mountain. Obviously, where your finger is pointing is not the perfect course. But, if you went that direction you'd still be heading towards the mountain.
I have been in impossibly complicated situations where the path forward was muddied at best. I was unsure whether the next step was the right one because I had no idea what would really happen with the next step. I could only hope that the next step would be in the right direction. Sometimes all I could do to keep moving towards the goal was to take a step, see what happened, and think, "At least I'm not going backwards."
So much of how we think we're doing is only based on the perfect path. Unfortunately, when things get tough the perfect path may be nowhere to be seen and you might give up. I am no different. I constantly need to assess how off course I am. When it's tough, assessing this way can be very depressing. Sometimes all I can do in such situations is stretch out my arms to see if I'm still moving towards the mountain, even just a little bit. Then I can say, "At least I'm not moving backwards."