I have no sense of direction. I’m one of those people who can’t read a map without turning it in the direction I’m going in. And even then I’m still not sure. When Garmin came out with their Nuvi GPS, my daughter rushed out and had it installed in my car as a Christmas present. She knew she was performing an act of mercy. Otherwise, she wasn’t sure whether I’d make it home from being out on the road making sales calls.
Eventually I got pretty good at understanding where I was going. My kids now started calling me up for directions. I was telling them things like: “Take Exit 42 off I-75 North, turn left, go 1.2 miles….” You get it. I knew my directions relative to the road.
Yet when I continued to drive up and down the roads, calling on customers, trying to sell other people’s stuff and ending up being retained for my consulting services instead, I was focused ahead.
Not on the where the next exit was.
I focused on where the horizon is.
You know, the place where the road ends and the sky seems to take over. Out there.
I focused on my personal horizon.
My personal horizon is the place that I focus on when things get messy and chaotic. It grounds me each morning. I thank goodness for it and all the people and experiences which have formed it over the years. I look forward to the people and experiences that will continue to add to my personal horizon.
The core of my personal horizon hasn’t changed since I was a kid. It’s based on my core values.
And sure, as a child, you don’t have the vocabulary to articulate what your core values are all about. Ultimately it’s the stuff you find fair and unfair, just and unjust, behavior you endorse or reject. As I got older, I learned the vocabulary that allowed me to choose the words that articulate my core values.
My core values are trustworthiness, integrity, ethical behavior, and respect. They are my personal horizon.
As I blogged about on Tuesday, many of us get caught up in where we are, our here. Yet we are traveling down someone else’s roadmap, their there.
How many times have you rejected the path that Google maps has selected for you, or selected another route other than the one the GPS was talking at you? Just because you knew another way to get there. Or just because you decided to do something edgy and see what the road held for you?
Focusing on your personal horizon grounds you, centers you, and liberates you from making “their” choices for you. You know better. You really do.
It’s a matter of being true to who you are. True to your personal horizon. True to your personal core values.
Stay your own course.
Let me know what your personal core values are.