were to journey through unknown territory, wouldn't you bring with you
a map and a compass? Along the way, wouldn't you look for landmarks
that will guide you towards the right direction? Of course you would!
of life as another journey. In this journey, your 'unknown territory'
is the array of situations that raise WHERE-DO-I-GO AND WHAT-DO-I-DO
QUESTIONS. Like, how to resolve a conflict with your boss, how to
break a bad habit, how to mend a rift within your family, how to
outsmart your business competition, how to make ends meet, or which
career path to take when you graduate.
this journey, I still suggest you rely on a map, a compass, and
landmarks. Your map is your set of goals, values, and long-term plans.
Your compass is the habit to continually make an honest assessment of
where you are with respect to these goals, values, and plans. And the
landmarks? They are principles and truths. Many of these are left by
others who had passed this way before, while some are discoveries that
you realize yourself.
WE TEND TO IGNORE MANY OF THESE LANDMARKS, sometimes even when they're
staring right at us. Example. Let's say your goal (your map) is to
reduce debt and put your personal finances in order. So, you calculate
your net worth and cash flow to assess your financial situation (this
is your compass). Now you're thinking, "where do I go, what do
I do?". Well, think of
this principle: "There's no need to be in debt if you spend less
than you earn". What a discovery!
the right map for your journey and always check where you are with
respect to your map. But also, pay attention and look for your
landmarks, those principles and truths. Acquire as much of these
principles as you can, note them down, ask people about them, find out
what they are all about. In other words, DO NOT STOP LEARNING.
how you use the North Star to find true north, use these principles
and truths to guide you towards where you want to go. From time to
time, you may get lost. Certainly, it will be much easier to get back
on track when you find and trust your landmarks.
* As discussed in
Dr. Stephen Covey's program, Principle-centered Leadership.
More at http://getinthehabit.com/