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One Degree of Separation: How To Achieve Your Dreams in a World that's constantly changing!

Close up of Compass showing how you can get off track.
03 October 2023

We have all been there. Beginning a long run. Or beginning a cross country road trip. Maybe it was building a new App. Before we even start on long, demanding endeavors, we can’t imagine the finish. It’s too far away. If we don’t adjust our thinking, what do you think will happen? It is going to be a brutal event. You may not even finish the run. (speaking from experience on that one)


I think we all understand the idea of breaking down a large goal or task, into smaller more manageable tasks.Athletes running a marathon are not thinking about mile 23. They are thinking about mile 1. Then mile 2. Then mile 3…and so on. The distance you can focus in front of you is largely determined by your skill.. Sub 3 hour marathon runners are probably thinking about mile 7, then mile 14, and so on.


The 2nd part of the formula deals with direction. Doing the right things. At work that may mean the right sequence in a production line. Or quality control. With investing, it is putting money in versus taking money out.


Here are some great illustrations of how important direction is.


Consider at the beginning of a journey you were off your intended course by one degree. Seemingly meaningless, right? 

After 100 yards, you’ll be off by 5.2 feet. Not huge, but noticeable.

After a mile, you’ll be off by 92.2 feet. One degree is starting to make a difference.

After traveling from San Francisco to L.A., you’ll be off by 6 miles.

If you were trying to get from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., you’d end up on the other side of Baltimore, 42.6 miles away from your destination.

Identifying the right direction is very important. Along with that is checking to see if you are on course or off course. Doing so often enough so that you can correct without tremendous effort.


If you are on a weight loss journey, you step on the scale regularly to check the direction. In business, it may be cash flow that is telling us if we are on course.

Consistent effort in the right direction will help you get to your destination.


Consider this as well. Is there something you are trying to improve? Go back to the running example. You want to finish faster. Maybe there is a qualifying time you must get to. Instead of trying to make up all of that time in one go…improve it by 1%. 


In business that could be reducing the time it takes to collect receivables. Or the cycle time on a work center. Just like investing money and taking advantage of compounding interest, the same holds true in virtually everything in life.


Break down large things into smaller chunks. Put consistent effort into doing the right things. Bonus points for improving 1% each time you check-in.


If you'd like to talk with Brad about coaching, set up a time here.


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