It’s back to prep. time. September looms. Actually, looms has the sense of grim and foreboding. September is fast approaching! I am preparing for a weekend retreat with my first year leadership students. One of the questions we will be exploring is: What will it take to moves us from where we are to where we think we want to be as leaders/individuals?
Lao-tzu, Chinese Philosopher [604 BC – 531 BC] states: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” A translation closer to the original Chinese would be: “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.“ The journey begins where you are standing. For any journey there are three components that must be considered; these I will refer to as Vision, Perspective and Process.
Vision… where are you going or who or what do you want to become? In a sense the vision is “already and not yet”. The seeds of who you can be have already been planted. The tree that will grow up is “not yet”.
Perspective refers to where you are standing or starting from… how you view where you are. It is easy to be distracted by yesterday; what could have been or by looking around at others who may be at a different stage in their journey.“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” [Desiderata]. The question that must be addressed is: where are you in relation to where you want to go?
Process asks the question; how will you get there?
“There are no short cuts to any place worth going” [ Beverley Sills]. We get impatient with the process because it is long. We often want to be like the hare in Aesop’s famous fable of “The Tortoise and The Hare” but the journey is more of a marathon than a sprint. The process is long! To get to “there from here” we need to put on the mantle of perseverance, set SMART goals [ Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely] and always keep the Vision in view.
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