One of the metaphors I like to use with my coaching clients involves an airplane pilot’s GPS. Before a pilot embarks off on a long flight – let’s say s/he’s going to Copenhagen – s/he inputs the destination’s coordinates to a navigation system.
While the flight’s final destination is fixed, the flight path is not.
From the moment the airplane takes off, weather and atmospheric conditions cause the navigation system to recalibrate the flight path again. And again. And again. Between take off in New York and landing in Copenhagen the plane gets re-routed countless times. And yet it arrives at its destination just as the pilot intended.
Same goes with charting our own paths in life – including, but definitely not limited to, our careers. Our job is simply to know where we’re headed. Of course it’s really not easy : it requires some deep listening, as there may be voices other than our own insisting on destinations we really don’t want for ourselves. It also requires us to notice if we’ve lost interest in our original destination, and to commit to what has taken its place.
But it’s simple : stay committed to your purpose, and there are no wrong turns.
We use different skills at various parts of the path, and we’re treated to many experiences of summits and valleys. We learn as we go, and we integrate who we’re becoming with how we’re leading our lives. Sometimes the going is tough, sometimes it’s wildly exciting, sometimes it’s pretty routine.
What’s guaranteed is that we can’t expect a straight shot from A to B. Thank goodness.
I’m on a new bit of trail here, one that takes me away from where I’d been moving nicely along. It’s disconcerting to be in different territory; I was really comfortable with the scenery on my last stretch of path. I’m also deeply vulnerable here in this new landscape, which as you know isn’t the most comfortable way of being in the world.
New paths are part of my flight plan, as they are yours. As women who identify as leaders, we insist upon bringing all of ourselves to what we do; we make outward changes in order to accommodate the shifts we go through internally as we evolve and grow. What doesn’t change is our commitment to authenticity, creativity and courage.
I haven’t lost sight of where I’m headed.
My purpose continues to guide what I’m doing to help women effect the changes we’re all waiting for. Now I’m offering additional tools and insight to assist them in being the leaders they know they can be. My new roles are already bringing out fresh wisdom and inspiration – I’m thrilled to see how this impacts the women I work with and the groups they lead.
Staying blindly committed to a set path is a surefire way to get lost. Knowing when to veer off course or to change direction is what keeps us empowered, energized and of service – even as it requires us to wade through fear and uncertainty on our way to the next path.
I’m honored that you’re joining me as I begin this latest bit of my journey. Please check out what’s new in my 1:1 offerings and groups. I’d love to hear what you think of the direction I’m headed, and where you and I might meet along the path. So please say hi, and leave your comments below!