2 Keys to Map Your Course

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After I had lived in S. Korea for about five years, my family finally came to visit me.  I knew this might be my only chance for them to experience what I loved about Korea, so I carefully planned the itinerary.IMG_1013

  • I checked event and performance schedules
  • I pre-purchased tickets to shows I didn’t want to miss
  • I mapped out routes to visit my favorite locations
  • I considered what foods I wanted them to try
  • I recruited a friend to help me rent a car for a portion of their visit

Most people will put a lot of time and effort into planning their vacations, but how many put the same time and effort into planning their life?

The Law of Navigation

One of the 21 Laws of Leadership is the Law of Navigation – “Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.”  John Maxwell says that navigators “have a vision for getting to their destination, they understand what it will take to get there, they know who they’ll need on the team to be successful, and they recognize the obstacles long before they appear on the horizon.”

I find two keys in this passage:

  • The first point is to have a clear picture of the destination.
  • The second is to have a solid understanding of your departure point.

If you were planning a road trip, you wouldn’t say, “I’m going to the South.”  Instead you would say, “I’m going to Orlando, Florida, to visit Disney World,” or “I’m going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.”

Then you would consider your departure point – I live near Washington, DC, so I know I would have to drive south.  Once the starting and ending points are determined, the rest of the details begin falling into place.

Navigating Your Goals

Photo by Tasha M. Troy

Photo by Tasha M. Troy

A common mistake people make when applying this to goal setting is believing they need to chart out every step before they take any action.  That would be like saying, “I can’t go to Orlando because I don’t know what the road conditions in Atlanta will be this time of year.”

You will never see the middle of the journey clearly.  You can only envision the destination and see the next few steps clearly.

While it’s true that a good navigator is aware of potential problems, it is also true that there is more than one way to go from Point A to Point B.  The best navigators have previewed possible alternate routes to avoid those obstacles.

The important point is to start.  There will be obstacles, and you will handle them when you encounter them.  As John Maxwell has said, “Everything worthwhile is uphill.”

 

Photo by Tasha M. Troy; Kumgang Mountain

Photo by Tasha M. Troy

By the end of their time in Korea, my family understood what it was that I loved about the country and why I continued to live so far away.  Because I took the time to think through what I wanted to accomplish during those ten days and the experiences I wanted my family to have, we ended up having a great trip.

Planning + Action = Successful Accomplishment

What action have you been putting off?  What do you need to start this week?  Today?  This afternoon?

What Does It Take to Achieve a Dream? A Personal Story

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St. Louis Botanical Garden

St. Louis Botanical Garden

When I was in high school, I had a dream to live and work in another country. Through my middle and high school years, I had gone on several short-term missions trips with my church, and I was enamored with the Hispanic culture. With this goal in mind, I chose Spanish as my undergraduate major (with a minor in French), and decided to pursue graduate studies in teaching English as a second language.  With my language focus, I fully expected to go to northern Africa, perhaps Morocco, to teach English.

However, upon graduation, I moved back to my hometown of St. Louis. This was not what I’d expected!

In St. Louis, I pursued opportunities to teach languages, especially English to international students. When I finally started teaching for Maryville University’s Intensive English Program, I became exposed to more international teaching opportunities. First, I applied to the JET program, sponsored by the Japanese government, but the timing wasn’t right. Later, I applied to teach in S. Korea, and the rest, as they say, is history.

April-May 2008 236I had many opportunities to give up pursuing my goal of living and working in another country, but I never wavered in my determination. However, though my years in S. Korea were a wonderful period of personal and professional development, pursuit of my dream did not lead me where I expected. I have learned that a dream fulfilled will most likely not closely resemble the dream as it was first conceived.

Don’t want to miss an expert opinion on this topic!

 

Take It Deeper

If you would like to go deeper on this topic, I hold free exploratory coaching sessions on Fridays.  You can register online at Troy Communications or email me to schedule an appointment at TMTroy@TroyCommunications.Net

2015 – A Year of Purpose

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Ed DeCosta is an executive coach who has greatly impacted my life this year with his free weekly video podcast.  Today, as we face a new year, I wanted to share his 5-minute message on Purpose, Priorities, and Intentionality.

Ed is offering a “task management” tool on his website, which I have found very useful myself.

If you are interested in defining your purpose, I would love to help you.  Contact me at TashaTroy@johnmaxwellgroup.com for more information.