The Value of Looking Further Ahead

A friend told me about teaching his teenage son to drive.  He said, “For some reason, he had trouble staying in the middle of the lane.  He was always veering over to the right.  Even when we reminded him, it’s like he just couldn’t figure it out.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, I was talking to a friend who had experience as a driving instructor. He said that it’s a common problem with kids when they’re first learning.  They’re not looking far enough ahead.  When they’re barely looking past the hood, they’re trying to stay in the center of the lane – but they’re too focused on that close-up view.”

“Try telling him to look further ahead, so he’s focusing on where he’s heading, not where he is.”

It worked. Once his son got the long-term view, it automatically took care of the present problem.

Kind of like life.

Weaving carIt’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that’s going on directly in front of us.  Our to-do list is pages long, our family has last minute needs and our work goes from crisis to crisis. But it can cause us to drift off course without even realizing it.

We need good tools and techniques to manage all the urgent things in our lives. 

But we can’t forget to look ahead.  Regularly.

If we lose sight of where we’re headed, we’ll constantly get distracted from getting there.

And we’ll end up somewhere else – wondering why we’re spinning our wheels and never making any real progress.

Know where you’re going.

Remind yourself where you’re going.

Focus on where you’re going.

Then step on the gas, and move forward.

You’ll find yourself in the center of your lane – and making progress toward your destination.

 

How long has it been since you looked ahead?

Senior Consultant at FranklinCovey; Author of "People Can't Drive You Crazy If You Don't Give Them the Keys"