Before you embark on any journey (using an automobile), several things have to be put in place/checked – tyres, engine, petrol and engine oil levels, windshield, side mirrors, and so on and so forth.
Let’s draw lessons from two things: the windshield and side mirrors. Life is often described as a journey, so this analogy can drive home the points I intend making.
The side mirrors represent the passage way to your past, and the windshield, your future.
While driving, most of your focus and attention is required to be ahead – through the windscreen. You focus almost all your energy (not just physical) on steering (working on planned actions) the vehicle towards your destination (goals).
Your energy is also used to control your speed, stop if need be, and obey the rules of driving. These also, are dependent on your focus through the windshield. There is no effective driving without the windshield which gives you access to what is before you (reality). Slowing down or even stopping is not a terrible thing, reversing isn’t either. Do all you can to get to your goals. I’ll quickly point out that there are times stopping the journey is the right move, hence that decision should be made and carried out. This is story for another day.
With the windshield, you visualise the work you are doing and the results they are producing. That information influences your next line of action. You must always have deliverables you have visualised before work begins or as work goes on. This helps you avoid distractions, it gives you hope and courage, even when things look like they are going awry. It gives you direction, and with it, you are able to get to your destination. Keep the end in sight (in your mind), and you’ll get there.
The side mirrors are also important, but at the same time can prove lethal if focused on for too long. They give you access to your past. At the end of every project is what is called Lessons Learned. You may need to refer to past events, but that should be for drawing lessons and not to fuel worry.
What are today’s lessons? Plan, Learn, Start work, Make Adjustments if need be, Check if Results are being Achieved at every Stage and Make sure you get to the End!