Forest for the trees

Have you ever been in a stage of life/business where you are so focused on what is immediately in front of you - that you just don't know where you are in the grand scheme of things?  Yes? Well so have I.

Often we can get so focused on the tasks or needs that are so clearly in our line of sight that as we keep on keeping on - we miss the big picture of where we are really headed. Sometimes it is also easy to get off track and be pulled in the direction we think we should go and find ourselves lost.

Here is a great visual. Imagine a corn maze. Our family has attended corn mazes for years. We love them - and we each have our own individual strategy for getting in and out of the maze. There may even be a little competition in the process...but I digress. Back to the corn maze - usually the owner of the maze gives you a picture (aerial view) of the maze so you can clearly see the overall design. And it is also quite common for there to be some type of tower or tall structure in the middle of the maze that you can climb up to "see above the stalks".  We each start out with a card with the maze printed on it (a blueprint or map) and checkpoints noted along the way to make sure we are headed in the right direction.

Now, we can choose to look at that map and plan it out before we start, or we can just jump in and go and try to "wing it."  Each personality has its own way of tackling this. Some of us are directionally challenged (guilty as charged) and some of us are not (my husband, much to my chagrin). If we are not careful it is quite easy to go around in circles - and to do it multiple times before we even know that we are in a circle. Finding a guide to get us out of that spiral is very helpful and quicker often times than doing it alone. The guide, you see, is usually someone who has gone through the maze multiple times or has a clearer view than we do. They know the "mile markers".

Getting to the middle of the maze is H.U.G.E. in the process. We can climb up, take a high level view to help us complete our journey, then get back down among the stalks to continue our trek.

I could go on and on with this parallel - but I am sure by now you get the picture. Working with a mentor or coach is like asking a guide for help. Someone who has seen the big picture and is not overwhelmed by the stalks. This person sees the multiple paths that can be taken and is calling out to the trekker what is in front of them. Nothing can replace the hard work of the one going through the maze, but having someone to call out to you some options based on the aerial view is priceless and can save you from going around in circles.

Think about it - in what area of your life to do you need someone to "call out" to you?  Where are you using your experience to help "call out" to others?

Michele WilliamsComment