As a scuba diving instructor with more than 400 logged dives on my computer, there's one thing I've always relied on as a good diver - that's my gauges. The most important gauge would obviously seem to be my air gauge - telling much how much air I've used up and how much I have left. But one that is almost equally important is my compass, especially when you're diving lakes in the Midwest.
My compass saved me from an embarrassing situation last year! I had a couple of new divers with me while diving Beaver Lake in Arkansas. The water is usually very clear. On this particular day, the visibility was down a bit. However, diving off the shore line, my plan was to take my two new divers down to the thermocline at 30 feet and then stroll through the beautiful, fish-laden bluffs. Since I had a lot of experience diving this part of the shoreline, I decided to lead these new divers without referring to my compass. After about 3-4 minutes, I realized we had made a huge circle and were right back where we started. I laughed it off and decided to give it another try. Again, after 3-4 minutes we were back where we started. Needless to say, I was totally embarrassed! This was a good lesson for my new divers...and sadly for me!
As we began our third attempt, I relied on my compass to give us an accurate heading through the somewhat murky waters! Over the years I've learned to trust my compass, especially when things don't seem to make sense under water. It's easy to lose your bearing in murky water. However, my compass has always led my to where I wanted to go. Happy to say, myself and my two new divers were successful at making it to the thermocline on our third attempt. We enjoyed the dive, and I learned (once again) the invaluable ability of my compass!
In life or business, we all need a compass! Having and relying on a compass allows us to successfully tread through the obscurity of so many things that get in our way. Without a compass, you'll find yourself going in circles just like I did. That can be expensive in business!
Sadly, many people don't use a compass and associate activity with productivity. But, activity without productivity is nothing more than wasted time. You've heard that old saying, "If you continue to do the what you've always done, you'll always get the same results." So, if you're not making progress toward the direction you're trying to go, use a compass!
Your compass can be a variety of things, but primarily it can be something as simple as short-term goals. Writing down short-term, 90-day goals can get you started in the right direction. Everyone needs a compass heading and then the ability to rely on that compass to make sure they get where they want to go.
Once I reached the thermocline, I tossed my compass to the side. Now, my depth gauge was important to me in order to stay the course along the bluffs I wanted to take. In your case, your depth gauge may be evaluating your short-term goals in relationship to your long-term goals. Getting a purposeful and successful start is the key to moving in the right direction. So, start writing down some 90-day short term goals. Write down your long term goals. Then, as you set your compass for the first 90 days of activity, ask yourself, "How does this work in comparison to my long term goals?"
Once you've reached your 90-day goal, all you need is your depth gauge which tells you the path you need to stay on
I never dive without my gauges! They've helped me on many occasions. In life or business, you need your gauges. They determine your course of action, how long you'll be there, and how far you've gone or how far you've got to go. Set your compass today...and you'll be surprised at how easy it was to get where you wanted to go!
2015 was a frustrating year for me! I found myself living life like the majority of people in our world today - just drifting along. I felt a victim of my circumstances. I was living another person's dream, not mine. I fell victim to a frequent statement I make, "God loves me and everybody has a plan for my life!"
Don't get me wrong, I was living a good life, but I just wasn't living the life I dreamed of living. I wasn't using ALL of my talents and gifts. In addition, I wasn't in control of my life. Circumstances were in control and had turned me into a drifter. After reading Michael Hyatt's blog one day, I finally said, "Enough! I'm not drifting anymore!
Drifting is exactly what happens to a lot of us! We fall prey to all the stuff life throws at us and we never really get control. We're just trying to do everything we can to stay afloat and not drown in the sea of debt, responsibilities, and circumstances.
The good news is - we can get control of our lives. While we can't control everything life throws at us, we can control how we react and respond to what life throws at us. All of us have dreams tucked deep down in the recesses of our soul. We need to realize that consciously, and develop a plan to one day fulfill that dream!
So, what is a person to do? My first recommendation would be to pick up a copy of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren - it can help you with having a healthy perspective on life. Secondly, starting writing down what your dream looks like. God has put a dream in all of us...so what is it? Write it down! Be specific. Then, thirdly, start designing a plan from where you're at now to where you ultimately want to go. Use the S.M.A.R.T. method - where goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarded, and on a Time schedule.
Since admitting (like the alcoholic at AA), "Hi, my name is Randy, and I'm a drifter," has started a process down a path that is leading me to developing specific goals to where I want to go. Having a grit-iron determination to get control of my life is exciting. I've lived my dream before and I know how thrilling it is. I want to get back there so badly! And, just starting the process feels good - really good! I would like to challenge you to do the same!
Get control of your life today! Here's action item #1 - Write down your dream on a note card or piece of paper and be as specific as you can! Put it in places where you can see it everyday - your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, on your desk, and even tape it somewhere to your computer. This is only the first step. Watch for further blogs to see what you'll need to do next!