Do you remember a time before this covid crisis hit us? Those hours spent commuting? How many of those drives /walks /train rides do you actually remember? And how many of those days were you simply moving through life on autopilot?
This weekend, while out picking up some appliances for the house we’re renovating, I found myself hopping back on the highways after a long day of work. As my foot sank lower into the gas pedal, my mind slipped back to the seemingly endless lists of next-steps that we’re working through. And just like that, without even thinking, I was cruising back home.
Only I wasn’t heading home.
My autopilot hadn’t re-calibrated to reflect my new postal code, and as a result I was speeding towards an unplanned destination.
Fortunately, my life’s co-pilot had her eyes on the street signs as we roared on by at over one hundred kilometers an hour. She quickly interrupted the autopilot sequence, and brought us back on course.
What’s your destination?
Where are you heading? Not just after a long day, but every day. What are your goals? What future do you want to live in?
Set your destination. The things you want to do, the places you want to see. The person you want to become.
Make sure you are calibrating your navigation system to guide you to the right destination.
Recalibrating Your Autopilot Function
Once you know where you are going, it’s time to evaluate your systems.
Conduct your pre-flight checklist.
What are you doing automatically, every day? We all have routines. Routines that serve you, like brushing your teeth for good oral care.
But sometimes your routines aren’t helping you. Maybe it’s hitting snooze every morning. Or washing the week down with a crisp, cold, adult beverage.
Map out your routines, and project into the future. Where will you be in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years if you keep doing the same things you’re doing now?
An almost imperceptible shift in direction could land you at your destination, or send you hurtling into the abyss.
Just like an airline taking off in New York, heading for the sandy shores of San Diego. Half a degree off, to the north or south, will send that flight into the middle of nowhere, Mexico, or swimming with the fishes in the Pacific Ocean.
Calling On Your Co-Pilots
Sometimes we can’t see that imperceptible change in direction. Sometimes we’re too close to the situation to realize that our routines are taking us to places we don’t want to go. Sometimes, you need a co-pilot to correct your course of action.
Just as my co-pilot steered me back in the right direction, there will be times you need that nudge.
Who knows you best? Who can give you honest feedback about your routines? Those are your co-pilots. The friends, family, and loved ones who can steer you back on track.
Much of your success depends on moving in the right direction, consistently, day after day, year after year.
Make sure your systems are calibrated correctly, so when you do flip on autopilot, you end up heading exactly where you want to go.