I was out for a morning run in Wyoming. It was rainy and low clouds hung in the valley. I decided to deviate from the main gravel road to a 4×4 track that led into the hills. After four strides on the muddy surface, I noticed animal prints. Quickly I assessed it was a grizzly bear, the claw marks at the top being the most evident. I decided I did not need to run into the woods, charging up behind a grizzly that was out for a morning forage. So I changed directions.
Further out the main gravel road, I encountered a bull elk standing on a high point just off the road. He eyed me as I progressed towards his elevated position. The elk turned and faced me, still a reasonable distance away. After a loud haunting bugle, he started trotting in my direction. I quickly recognized that I was a threat and decided to change directions again. I ceased the unintended battle for the high ground without thought and retraced my steps.
We do not always know what we will encounter on our adventures, and we can possess enough clarity about the work that matters to decide when to proceed and when to find another path. Changing directions is not defeat; it is the reality of navigating, and it does not always take bear tracks and aggressive elk to shape our new path.