A river winds through its path moving slowly and then much faster when the river narrows. The rush of the current makes it harder to control the canoe you are using. Thoughtfully you prepared for this trip, never taking the time to think about what to do in the rush of the current.
You’ve never been in a canoe? Don’t like the water? You can’t relate to this? That’s ok. Because I can tell you that this experience happens to us many times in our lives. When we decide to do something and then our journey begins.
We decide on a project, a change, or a major course correction in our lives. Having thought about it for a long time we feel very prepared. We can’t wait for the outcome to occur. Yet as we begin to gain momentum, things begin to happen quickly. The rush of emotion begins to make it harder for us to control our direction. Distractions occur. Too much information bombards us at one time. The highs and lows present themselves in the same way that the river winds.
The only difference between our journey in a canoe versus a journey in our life to accomplish something, is that in life, we tend to lose track of things when so much is happening at once. The rush of the curent does not allow us to check to see if we are still on course.
Much different than an ocean, a river has the feature of certainty in that you can’t wander too far off course because they are never infinitely wide. Yet the confusion it can cause in the rush of the current can be so blinding in the moment as we try to keep control of our canoe.
This just happened to me with a very large project at work where there is a lot of information, feedback and discourse. Yet just yesterday, I realized that we had missed something very important that has not been addressed. I too got caught up in the rush of the current trying to steer my canoe without taking the time to look at my map.
Good work is more than thoughtful work. There is a component of deep work that requires us to keep going further to make sure we stay on course. Be vigilant when you feel things moving quickly. Go back to find your map to slow down the rush of the current by understanding the confusion it can cause.