Where Are You Headed?


My favorite flight tracking app is Flightradar24.  The user can enable the camera on their smartphone, point it at the sky and track aircraft overhead.  It is nearly instantaneous and shows the departure and arrival cities, type of aircraft, flight number, altitude, speed, and how far away the plane is from the user’s current location.  Imagine the images near a large international airport?

How often have we walked into an enterprise and wondered what is going on?  Is there a plan for the future or is everyday a replay?  Perhaps in high tourist areas iteration works as long as one keep an eye on the other vendors and make sure to quickly plagiarize any new merchadise that might appear in their competitor’s shops.  However transactions in these shops are usually one and done.  If we are trying to generate loyalty we must to be able to provide something vital for the customer’s journey.  We must be remarkable to the point the person who engaged us years ago immediately recalls us when recounting their interaction.

Winters ago my Mom went into a western ski resort shop specializing in Native American jewelry.  She commented on a particular bracelet and the employee said they had a much bigger selection upstairs.  They showed her to the second floor where the employee produced a wooden box from under the display case which was filled with an assortment of recreational drugs.  In surprise, my Mom acknowledged there was some misunderstanding, thanked the employee, and exited the premise.  The jewelry shop’s purpose, first floor for customers of design, second floor for recreational customers.  It was uncertain as to which one was more profitable or the primary purpose.

If an outsider were to point their attention on your enterprises, would it be evident where your cause was headed and for what purpose?  The vast majority of the overhead flights I track do not capture my interest.  Occasionally, I will find one that make me dream a little and I will track its progress on the larger map, its journey suddenly part on mine.   

Whose imagination have you captured?  Where are you headed with their dreams?

Dawn Wall

If you followed the successful attempt of two alpinist to free climb the Dawn Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan you may know the route climbed has been summited numerous times.  Kevin Jorgesen and Tommy Caldwell previously practiced every pitch of the climb, using aided climbing techniques to support their dress-rehersal efforts.  The achievement of the Dawn Wall was not in reaching the summit.  The beauty was revealed by finding a new way to perform art.  They took away the scaffolding and ascended differently.  Starting from the valley floor they committed to trying an failing (falling protected by rope and harness) until they reached the summit.  The niche that they occupied was truly razor thin.  Had they succumbed to employing aided climbing techniques once, the magic in their effort would have evaporated.  Instead they stated their intentions and acted in a manner consistent with their beliefs.  And we got behind them, followed their journey, and celebrated their success.

We do not have the be the first.  We not have to be the fastest (it took Jorgesen and Caldwell 18-days).  We can occupy a micro niche and excel.  What heroic journey are you on?  What is worth boundless optimism even when few are watching and falling means progress?  What is worthy doing?

Perhaps we require a different mindset as Jorgensen tweeted, “This is not an effort to ‘conquer’. It’s about realizing a dream.”