In the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles there's a scene in which John Candy and Steve Martin, accidentally start driving the wrong way down a divided, four-lane highway. A couple, going the same direction (but in the correct lane of traffic), tries to let the wrong-way travelers know of the danger they're in.
"You're going the wrong way," the husband shouts, having rolled his window down. His frantic wife echoes him in the background.
Confused, Martin rolls his window down and listens to the frantic cries of the couple. "YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!" Unfazed, he rolls the window up and turns to John Candy, "They say we're going the wrong way."
"They're crazy," Candy snorts. "Anyway, how do they know where we're going?" And he speeds on down the highway, going the wrong way.
"Yeah," Martin agrees, "How do they know where we're going?"
As funny as this scene is, it just ain't that funny in real life. I'm not talking about literally driving the wrong way down the highway (although that's really not funny, either), I'm talking about how we move towards our goals.
Thinking about the upcoming new year, my goals, and how I was progressing towards them, it struck me that I had been going the wrong way for quite some time. If I hadn't been exposed to some new ideas from some of my favorite mentors, I might still be cruising along in the wrong direction. So I stopped what I was doing, took stock of everything go- ing on, regrouped, replanned, and set off once again towards my most important goals.
Of course, it was not as simple as it sounds.
I had to get down and dirty and do some serious work on myself (and quickly, too), but not doing that work would mean moving even farther from my goals than I already had. Sometimes going astray is part of the process. Usually it's because we've missed a lesson somewhere along the line that westill need to learn.
(One of my coaching mentors, Thomas Leonard, used to say this all the time: "The universe will give you the same lesson, over and over, until you learn it.")
Sure, I could beat myself for having wasted my time, not giving enough effort, and becoming distracted. But rather than let this "wrong turn" set me back, I took it as the oportunity to learn what I needed to learn, so that when I got "back on track," I was on the BEST path I could take at the time.
Now is the time to figure out if YOU are on the best path for your personal journey...
Are YOU going in the wrong direction?
Are your goals getting closer? Or are they moving away from you?
Are you doing everything you need to be doing? Or do you need more support or resources?
Only you know where you're going, so get honest with yourself and adjust your efforts as necessary.