Sometimes a trail requires an alteration. A re-route is necessary to keep the journey going. There is a liminal period between the moment the change is made and once GPS, maps, word-of-mouth, and experience make the transition final. It is a transformation of habit, exchanging a known for an unknown. Disruption occurs all the time, but not as frequently as we might notice. How we adapt to the change says a lot about our mindset. If we approach our journey in a fixed mindset, then the flight cancellation, followed by the subway strike, and finally bad weather will be highly disruptive. However, if we have an open mindset, the opportunity to navigate through a new airport, take the bus in place of the subway, and use the umbrella that has travel with us for numerous trips might create a memorable experience.
How we respond. How others respond. It might be the start of an epic journey or a catastrophe. If we leave room for serendipity we may find the road less taken has made a difference.
The force of our work may not be easily evident. As a former urban-rural interface firefighter, we trained to stop, drop, and align ourselves in a specific orientation if caught in an aerial water or retardant drop. The simulated training is as close as we got to reality since the danger of impact is evident in the video.
It is challenging to describe the consequences of our work, and often, an image or a viewing in real-time leaves a far greater impression.What service do you perform that is hard to describe but can fundamentally shift your mindset when witnessed in-person?
Our first choice is not always the best choice. The first option may be convenient and meet a need for perceived progress but the results can be less than desired.
Do you click the first link during a Google search, even when the first result has clearly paid for search engine optimization? Did you propose to the first person you dated, on the first date? Did the pilot of your flight land the plane the moment they saw the destination city? Did we nominate the new Board Chair based on the first name mentioned in a passing conversation?
Taking a moment to consider options often leads to better results. In our rush, frenzy, and scattered moments, we settle for anything that looks like a decision. Is it better to make any ferry, even when it heads to the wrong island or is waiting for the right boat a better choice?
What if we commit to looking for at least three options when we reach a decision point? How might three choices change our deliberations if the available answers range beyond yes or no? What other opportunities might appear when we make room for curiosity? How might adopting a three option mindset exponentially change the impact of your work?
How many lug nuts on a car wheel are you willing to travel without? How many gears on a road bike are you willing to ride without? How many times are your willing to let your shoelaces break before replacing them?
The best answer; it depends on the journey and circumstance. In a perfect world, we would purchase, fix, or replace any of these items immediately. However, we tend to drive, ride and walk a little way before addressing the problem. In extenuating circumstances, we travel great distances and endure long periods of time if our survival outranks the pending maintenance issue.
There are no perfect top ten lists or flow charts. If these things existed we could replace most committees, task forces, board, and leadership teams with algorithms. Instead, we need the human element to wrestle with the questions that matter. Great decision-makers are capable of altering the course of a cause more than the accumulation of resources.
Never forget to think about the human element. Otherwise, we are collecting badges and experience points as we try to advance from level to level without an understanding of how it impacts the overall mission.