Have you ever thought about all the “fork in the road” situations throughout your life – where they lead you? A tiny turn here, another turn there can lead to profound changes. Even a random “hello” while waiting to cross a street during a tradeshow or seminar, a brief introduction to someone on an escalator, or engaging in a conversation on a shuttle bus can create a tiny fork in my business. Where do these forks lead?
I have a friend who sends inspirational messages every few days. I received one this week that really hit home with me.
“Choosing a goal may cause only a slight change in your life’s direction at first. It’s like one of those huge freighters at sea: If the captain shifts course by just a few degrees, it won’t be noticeable immediately. But in several hours or days, this change in direction will bring the ship to a completely different destination…Start turning your freighter now, because up ahead, just a short distance away, is your future.” (Anthony Robbins, from his book Notes from a Friend – A quick and simple guide to taking charge of your life)
My entire career has been based on this philosophy. And quite unintentional. But looking back, I see all these little changes in directions. Some changes were based on intentional choices of what I wanted to work on. Others were so minor, like a random conversation or a brief introduction, that resulted in gradual, but huge changes in my career. You just never know when that change in direction will come or from where. Will it be something that is a well planned, thought-out change, or will it come from some insignificant, low-key randomness.
Although I guided my career with intentional directions and choices, so many of the changes in direction were the result of a small randomness. The one thing that is constant is that each fork in the road or change in direction leads to other forks/changes which lead to others. Even if you pick the wrong direction, the next change can correct that direction in an even better way. Think about it.
Thanks to my friend who passed this inspirational message to me this week. And who, by the way, I met on a shuttle bus at Quilt Market over 15 years ago.
Which direction will you take today?