In this episode, I share with you something I heard last Sunday at church – when I was supposed to be paying attention. Haha! But that’s the thing. If someone is really interesting, I get caught up in the tangents in my head when they say something that gets me thinking!
Last week during the sermon, the preacher Michael told us that when he was a young man he piloted ships between Sweden and Denmark. He said they had to do passage planning from berth to berth for every trip. It sounded like this was the “map” of sorts that they used to get safely to where they were going.
But, he said, they would still have to watch and listen and be prepared to make course changes. Something could be in the way this time that they’d have to get around, or any number of other things might come up that would force a change to the passage planning they’d done.
This reminded me of the plans I make for my writing – weekly goals, deadlines, publishing goals, marketing timetables, etc. – and for my life in general. We need a well-thought-out, written plan in order to achieve our many goals and to accomplish them with excellence. We won’t get nearly as far or do as well if we decide what we’re going to do only when we wake up that morning.
But things happen – little things even more than big things – and they throw us off course. If we’re not watching and listening and paying attention, like Michael said he had to as a ship’s pilot, we can hit snares and roadblocks that throw us off course in a way that we aren’t prepared for.
We hear this with some frequency – regular life can get in the way of our plans. But until we embrace it as a normal part of our day, the way a ship’s captain daily understands that anything may alter his course to some degree, we tend to get upset by every little thing that comes up. Or we fall apart when the 77th detour makes us want to tear our hair out – or quit.
So have a plan. Write it down. And then watch and listen and pay attention to see when you need to make adjustments. Much better than throwing out the entire plan altogether!