As we flow down our metaphorical river of life to reach the metaphorical ocean that is our goal/plan, it is our combination of luck and sheer will that determines what the result is. It’s important that we adjust our plans frequently and with new information, re-directing our efforts from one part of our personal operations to another that deserves or requires the attention. Thinking big picture is a must, and re-iterating what works is a must.
But when the tough gets-going and the going gets-tough, know when to put your foot down and change direction. You could think of it as adding onto the plan by having fall-back options or adding a way to mitigate risk. You could think of it as Plan B. No, you’re not exactly changing the ocean (goal/plan); this is important since you knew from the start that there was no ocean: there was only your idea of what the ocean would be. It’s a moving target where everything is constantly moving.
But remember this: you steer the boat. If it’s not going well, change direction. It’s the only way out. The hard part is knowing when to change, and knowing how to change.
Knowing when to change:
The most obvious opportunity comes when facing resistance. After identifying resistance (usually symptoms include problems continuing without an obvious source of the problem) it’s important to shift gears and change the resistance to an opportunity. For example, you feel like your work (project, job, etc.) is constantly facing new problems–not evoloving problems, problems that occur through a continuance of the work/project)–such as an error here, or questions about something there, or a break in something. These problems continue to pile up and eventually you’re a firefighter, doing what you can to put out the fires that are enflaming. Rather than doing that, I suggest a shift in gear–act like water and evolve the work/job/project. Use that resistance as a force to push you away, and push you forward. It is that resistance that is your motivation to improve or shift. You can’t solve every problem and you certainly don’t want to continue doing that.
Knowing how to change:
This is perhaps the more difficult step. Knowing how to change, you’d need to re-evaluate your current status. On the path that is your river to the ocean, you need to take a high level view of your position and re-evaluate where the future goes. This new future (or the same future you had in mind) should look slightly different because you now have something extra: the experience of knowing. You’ve experienced what you’ve experienced (you’ve already traveled along the river), and you can’t take that away. But guide yourself to the new future, and be like water: move through the cracks and get to the objective. It’ll make you stronger and harder, you’ll move quicker. Re-evaluate.