"In moving forward,
are you keeping your eyes on
the cracks in the sidewalk,
or on the horizon?
With each you will make
radically different decisions
based on what you see,
and consequentially receive
dramatically different results.
-- Albert K Strong
In the late fifties and early sixties as I was a kid, there were no such things as store bought skateboards. We made ours out of clamp on steel skates with steel wheels nailed to a piece of 2"x4". Any small pebble, round or otherwise that was on the sidewalk was potentially a problem when the steel wheel would contact it.
Thus, it was easy to look at the cracks in the sidewalk as we skated along so that we could look out for the pebbles or other debris that could send us sailing and landing poorly. To keep our eyes on the horizon would be beneficial to where we were going, but we had to learn to trust in order to do that. When fear was involved, we looked at the cracks in the sidewalk.
As I thought back about those days and those experiences, I related them to how business owners (and every day folks too) often end up doing the same thing. Many get so focused on the sidewalk; i.e., what is in front of them, the heat on the phone call, the problem in production, the messed up order, not trusting that things will turn out well, and much more.
Yet, if we think about it, keeping our eyes on the horizon is what really helps a company, marriage, student to thrive and entertain innovation and tenacity. In fact, Seth Godin, a recognized management expert says that, "Tenacity is not the same as persistence. Persistence is doing something again and again until it works." We could compare that to looking at the cracks in the sidewalk. Then he says, "Tenacity is using new data to make new decisions to find new pathways to find new ways to achieve a goal when the old ways didn't work." We could call this looking at the horizon.
Raising our eyes, our focus, our vision, our intent above what is, what is yelling at us, what is trying to command our attention can be a very positive and tenacious thing to do. As those persistent noises do their best to keep us looking down, we find entirely different thoughts, patterns and results by giving more attention than the noise seems to demand.
A really good question to ask is, where do you want to be, or what and how do you want to be doing it, five years, ten years from now. Looking at that distance ahead can be highly beneficial. Some highly successful companies look 50 years down the road. And, again, this doesn't just apply to companies or businesses. . .
Head's Up! Eyes Forward!
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