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Arrow Tip #52: Make Course Corrections

When going from Point A to Point B I don’t think you can get more precise than the people endeavoring to launch a rocket. Those guys know how to do it. It IS rocket science after all! But even the most detailed, highly calculated trajectories are not completely predictable. They’re just a series of course corrections, one after another. There’s an overall intended path but that path is always riddled with variables. How those variables are handled (or not handled at all) is what determines the result.

When reaching for your goals try to remember this. Become like NASA, SpaceX, or even a pilot navigating an airplane. Realize that a successful outcome is just a matter of managing to correct your course from moment to moment.

When setting a goal, many people for some reason seem to think it’s going to be a straight shot. When it’s not, they either stay off course, abandon ship, or even sink it. But life is full of variables. When you go into it knowing it’s normal and actually part of the process to get off track here and there, then you’re much better equipped to immediately correct your course and stay headed in the right direction.

That’s the critical point. Pilots don’t wait until next week, or even tomorrow when their craft gets off course. They immediately make the proper adjustments and keep going. Sometimes they may even have to reroute, taking a bit longer to reach their destination depending on what variables were encountered. But they don’t throw up their hands and say “Well, I’ve already blown it for today, so let’s just really let this thing spiral out of control for a while.” No, they find their current position and make the necessary adjustments to get back on the best path available to them.

If the most highly-skilled, precise predictors in charge of getting an object from here to there don’t consider it a failure when things go awry, then why should we? Take comfort in this and apply the same principles they use. Start out with the understanding that the winds of life will blow you off course from time to time. Have your strategies and tools in place and at the ready so you can immediately remedy the situation. No matter what your destination (aka your intended goal) is, stay in the pilot seat and keep on correcting your course. Just make the necessary adjustments and know that every tweak you make is a step closer to your result. Getting off course is not a failure. See it for what it actually is…simply an evitable part of the process.

The place I see this most frequently is when people are trying to change their eating habits. If they get off course one day then they tend to say “Oh, well…I’m already off track today so I may as well consider today a loss.” I myself am guilty of this. But it doesn’t make sense to stay off course due to a misstep or "detour" of sorts. We do this because we want to continue to indulge ourselves and then justify it. Don’t use this excuse. I chose this example because it’s one that most people can relate to, but we do this all the time in many other areas.

Examine your life and notice where you’re allowing yourself to get off track…staying there for one reason or another. Reflect on goals you may have had... but because things didn’t go as planned you gave up on them. Consider that going from Point A to Point B is rarely a straight shot and getting off track is not a failure but actually part of the process. When you make “immediate course corrections” a normal part of your path, it’s much harder to be disappointed when things don’t go “according to plan” because guess what? It’s all PART OF THE PLAN!



1. When setting your goal keep in mind there may be moments that you get off track. Remember this is all part of the normal trajectory.

2. Rather than throwing in the towel, beating yourself up, procrastinating, or viewing yourself as failing in some way, instead take the perspective that life is full of variables and as long as I make course corrections along the way I can still achieve my desired outcome.



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