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Fred responded to questions about goal setting with the comment: “Direction is more critical than goals. They are the mileposts, but not the destination.” He often asked people, “Are you satisfied with the direction you are going?”

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Direction Matters

Perseverance in the wrong direction is as foolish as dedicated incompetence. It reminds me of the two men traveling down the road. One said, “Aren’t we going in the wrong direction?” “Yes, but we are making such good time, I hate to turn around,” was the response.

Troubled paths require the right direction. Life issues like a lot job, broken relationship, child with problems, a disease that forever changes the way we face the future all prove we need a strong mind, and a clear direction. They are essentials, not luxuries. But we need to accept direction may be one step at a time, not a bold stride. Forward movement in the proper direction is the goal.

When circumstances necessitate reevaluation, it is key to re-set goals in light of “current reality.” This is one of the crucial principles of my life. I always told our children to keep current on their facts. A map company uses the phrase, “Don’t drive today with yesterday’s map.” Current thinking protects us from “might have been” living. Fantasy and regret are stumbling block for perseverance. We endure and hold strong in the “what is.”

Good timing is the hallmark of the persevering attitude. When do you give up on a direction and a decision? A couple who missed their timing held on to an unrealistic venture, losing a fortune. Afterward the husband asked me, “When do you cut loose and take your losses?” For me, I try to keep the odds with me. I cut loose when they start turning and I anticipate no reason the direction will change.

Too often, we hold on wishing for the best. That is not perseverance… that is stubbornness at best and stupidity at worst.

In contrast to Winston Churchill’s challenge, I like the bumper sticker philosopher who said, “When the horse is dead – dismount!” Or, as my banker says, “Never delay failure with your own money.”

This week carefully consider: 1) Am I satisfied with the direction I am going? 2) How diligent am I to create a strategy for direction, not just goals? 3) What am I holding on to that needs to be released?

Words of Wisdom: “Forward movement in the right direction is the goal.”

Wisdom from the Word: “You widen my path; my feet do not slip.”  (2 Samuel 22:37 NET Bible)

News Line: ••• 5/27/14; “Leading with hope” is a sign of greatness. Find out more in Brenda A. Smith’s blog. Click here to read her blog.
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