2 Kinds of Direction

by Sean Cox

arrowDo me a favor.  More importantly, do yourself a favor.  Take a look at your last 3 days.

How did they turn out for you?  Would you consider them “good” days?  Why or why not?  How do you measure something like this?

We are designed to be goal-directed.  It’s how we’re wired—it’s baked into our DNA.  One sure way of determining how well our day went, and how well we’re doing overall, is if we’re moving towards our goals.

Here’s the truth:  most people don’t have goalsAs I’ve said before, plenty of people have wishes, but few have any kind of well-thought out, strategic goals.

And fewer still have what I call high-impact goals—goals that make a significantly meaningful difference in one’s life when achieved.

All of us are busy.  We spend the day and expend our energy flitting about from one task to the next, until we get to the end of our day or the end of our energy, whichever comes first.

The question is, what percentage of those tasks are related to carefully thought out goals that’ll make a positive difference in your life, once achieved?  Be honest with yourself!

Ideally, these same goals are connected to larger, longer-term goals, which are then connected to an over-arching vision, all working together to move us in a consistent, unified direction of progress.

Sounds like a lot of work, huh?  Hey, who said success was easy?!

Here’s the thing:  your life is moving in a direction.  The question is, is it moving in the direction that YOU WANT to be moving in?

This brings me to my point for today.

There are 2 kinds of DIRECTION:

1) Direction by DEFAULT

2) Direction by DESIGN

Direction by Default is the direction we end up going in “just because”.  Each day becomes an isolated entity of tasks and to-do’s disconnected from any larger, grand direction.  Very often we’re focused on the things clamoring the loudest for our attention, whether they’re actually important or not (too often they’re not).

It’s ends up being the direction of NO direction.  Aimless wandering.  Sure, lots and lots of busyness and motion, but nothing that really moves us forward in any significant way—motion does not necessarily equal progress.

But without a clear goal and concrete target, this is exactly what we do.  We aimlessly wander.  Sure, we may end up going in a generally “good” direction, but there’s a big difference between going in a good direction and going in the right direction.

Direction by Design, on the other hand, is quite different.  This is where we CHOOSE our direction ahead of time through some careful thought and analysis, looking not only at today, but also at the bigger picture of our lives.

This is where we’re INTENTIONAL, rather than accidental, about the steps we’re walking today.  We have a PURPOSE to what we’re doing today, because it’s tied to a larger, compelling vision that has become our North Star, giving us focus and energy.

What about you—Direction by Default or Direction by Design?

Be intentional, be purposeful, be planful.

Live YOUR life by design.

--Sean Cox,

Chicago, IL


I’m Sean Cox,

I write these articles to provoke you to look at your life--to consider where you currently are and where you could be in the future. I want you to break free from the status quo, pursue your potential, and become a razor-sharp asset.

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