The 365 Commitment

Focus on Horizon

Establish the horizon and then make sure you can see that horizon at all times.

When piloting a vessel at sea, you get in the habit of always looking up. This is an absolute. You learn the consequences of not doing so by experience. That one time you got busy focused on something going on in the cabin or galley. A horn blares. People start yelling. Or worse, you hear a sickening crunch of fiberglass and wood.

You learn to look up. Always. You look up, catch the horizon and then scan. This becomes instinct. Piloting is never an exact science when you are always in motion. Rather, you are guiding. Suggesting a course and then adjusting as needed.

This concept become relevant to me yesterday. You might have experienced this feeling as well. You have a lot going on. Many “irons in the fire.” You have big aims, solid goals to achieve and a direction established. Now you are in the throws of execution. Now it is 10:22am and you can feel that you are spinning. Bouncing around on work tasks with no clear aim. You can sense that you are not focused. You are not in the zone. You are not in the flow. It causes you some alarm. Have you felt that before?

This happens to everyone. Especially, the high functioning people with a lot of spinning plates. The allusion to a ship captain is appropriate. You are piloting the vessel, but also serving lunch. You are watching for safety hazards, but also helping to bait a line for the 4 year old. You are observing the kids in the sailboat off your port side. But you are trying to explain to your wife’s friend how to flush the toilet. The radio is squawking. The depth finder is beeping. The kids on the bow are horsing around. Your friend is getting another beer out of the cooler. How do you stay focused in a time like this? Simple. Focus on the horizon.

I always know where the horizon is, where the shore is. I always have a point of reference. That anchors me. That is what I look to always. I let the issues, problems, laughter and frivolity wash over me and I keep my mind on that fixed point. This is crucial as it keeps us even keeled and safe. This concept of piloting applies to life as well. If you find yourself adrift in work tasks, look to the horizon and regain your flow.

The challenge is to define the horizon, and make sure it is visible. Clear and distinguished. You can look up and see it, displayed in a way that you can see. A constant reminder. Ask this question. Are you at your computer now? Where is the horizon? Can you see it? Most likely, you do not. Most likely you see only chrome tab’s with various things you are working on. That is what we have to change. We need a way to shutdown the noise, return to the horizon, gain focus and go again. That needs to happen every 15 to 30 minutes. You cannot afford to lose track of your horizon.

Constant vigilance. Always lifting your head up, seeing your ultimate goal and making adjustments. Do you find yourself distracted too often? Where is your horizon? Can you see it? Is it published? Is it written down and visible? This is the first order of business in any success plan. Establish the horizon and then make sure you can see that horizon at all times. Focus on the horizon.

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