Every day I grab a cup of coffee and sit down at my desk to work. I check my email, peruse my social media, and check my schedule for what I need to do that day. It’s a simple routine, but it gets me on track for the day.
After the nitty-gritty is out of the way, I can focus on my important tasks, such as writing, illustrating, marketing, and finance (bills are the worst). I get restless sometimes doing the same things over and over again. Although writing and illustrating inspire me, there are days when I find myself deleting more than creating. I look back at my work and realize I haven’t made any headway—cue clenching of teeth.
I recently spent multiple days working on a drawing only to give up my process and start from scratch. Doing so delayed my work, but the result was a significant improvement. My initial struggling should have been a clue that I was going in the wrong direction, but I didn’t want to change what I was doing.
I looked over my final piece and realized that the new process not only gave better results but was faster and easier. It inspired me to make more illustrations the same way.
Even if we have our personal and professions goals plotted out, there isn’t a straight path to them. We have to make small adjustments to reach them. We need course corrections to achieve our success.
We will face adversity in life—headwinds and turbulence are inevitable—but with course corrections, we can achieve our goals. A change in plans is not failure; it is merely a change.
My restlessness won’t last long. I know change will come. The snow has melted, and the wildlife is more active outside my window. Tax season is approaching, and I will have to organize all of my reports. I even have a birthday coming up—not necessarily a fun change, but I am glad I get the opportunity to have another one.
Change isn’t always a bad thing. Even though we would rather not have adversity, a smooth ride wouldn’t be as fulfilling. Imagine you are driving down an empty highway late at night. There is no traffic to get in your way, and the hum of the road lulls you to sleep. Without some small self-imposed course corrections or distractions, such as listening to the radio or drinking some iced tea, you may end up having to make some major corrections to prevent a severe accident.
These small course corrections are the little distractions we place in our lives that break up the monotony. They prevent our journey towards our goal becoming stagnant. They are just enough to encourage us to keep going, but not enough to throw us into a tailspin.
It’s the middle of my work week, and I have to work diligently to get my writing done, but since the weather is fair, I decided to write in my backyard, listening to a little Brahms. I’m away from my regular workspace, but it is a pleasant distraction.
We can all include pleasant distractions in our routines. We can listen to some music, work with a partner, or snack on some crisp veggies. Even just taking a moment to look up from the computer or textbooks and observe our environment can be helpful. I especially recommend looking in the rear-view mirror occasionally to see the accomplishments—a delightful distraction—but only for a moment. We need to keep our eyes on the road.
When traveling through life, we will have to correct our course to achieve our goals, but we shouldn’t let those corrections weigh us down. They can enable us to find solutions to problems, add excitement, and even inspire us on our grand adventure.