When the vision, direction, plan is foggy
I don't know about you but sometimes the fog rolls in, visibility dissipates. Life. Business. Strategies. Direction. Meaning. Relationships. Goals. Purpose. Tactics.
When my vision is cloudy, when forces outside of my control create blizzards.
I remember advice garnered from one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott in her book 'Bird by Bird; Instructions on Writing and Life"' in which she quoted E. L Doctorow,
'writing is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."
Lamott reminds me that I can make the whole trip; as creator, writer, leader, parent, lover, community activist, social change agent…this way; seeing just what I can trusting and doing the next thing.
Lamott contends that writing is a lot like life; it's not necessary to see the end, to have a crystal clear picture of exactly how it all works out, know the details, or the entire journey. All we really need is faith and trust. All we really need to do is to show up, to do what is directly in front of us, create what we can here, now, presently and keep moving.
For writers and creators of all types this advice liberates.
What if visions, end in minds, goals, plans, vision boards, strategies and tactics are all nice and well…. but not the essential ingredient to success?
Alll the plotting in the world won't make a difference if I don't get up day after day and make consistent progress; journey just two or three feet, even a mere two or three inches…moves me down the road.
Lamott encourages the writer to write as much as they can see through a one-inch picture frame. I encourage leaders and creators to create as much as they can see here, now.
Chunk it down, do what is before you and surrender to the process; live the adventure.
In both my personal and professional life; I've found this to be some of the best advice I've ever heard.
I know, I love envisioning, strategizing, modeling and planning. It's all good. But none of it, NONE of it, a replacement for showing up and doing….
I've found that when the fog rolls in iit's time for me to slow down, turn on my fog lights and do what I can see…. in the small picture frame before me.
Daily my goal is to navigate the unknown, courageously, consistently.
It's amazing what keeping your eyes on that white line to your right, slowing down and keeping the faith can do for your hopes and dreams..
And to comfort me in the foggy times I keep Anne's words near,
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don't give up."
What do you do when the fog rolls in?