Steering by the Stars

All of us get lost in the darkness

Dreamers learn to steer by the stars

          –Neil Peart

That lyric is from the song The Pass.

What an appropriate verse to the theme of yesterday's post.  Steering by the stars becomes important when traditional navigation becomes obsolete.  This skill is needed when times are tough, but even more important when things are going well (we tend to think we don't need any help when the road is silk paved).  Certainly, it is tough when darkness descends on a career or love.  The choice is ours as to how we will respond.  I for one, have not always responded well.

I had a vivid dream once where I was asked to come on a journey at night.  The offer included a flashlight, so I felt secure in the knowledge that I would have enough light.  I took the offer and proceeded forward.  After some time, the flashlight began to dim and I realized the batteries were dying.  Realizing that I had come to far to turn back, I looked up and saw millions of stars.  I heard a voice that said, "now you will learn your direction by the stars."  I woke up…

That dream came to me just when I needed it.  It helped me understand the importance of learning and adapting.  You might be skeptical, you might even be laughing.  But the question remains; how do we steer when the light has ceased?

Here are a some tips:

  • If things are going well now, start learning about the principles of navigating through tough times.  It will be painful at first because you may think the time would be better served enjoying the fruits.  See the financial services industry about the foolishness of enjoying the fruits.
  • Don't go it alone.  Hire a coach, find a mentor or seek out others who have experience (real experience) under their belt.
  • If you're in the darkness right now, then don't give up.  But be sure you're on the right terrain.  In other words, if you were never excited about being a social media guru, don't keep convincing yourself that you need to stay one.
  • If you don't expect your path to be easy, then you will learn what you need to learn.
  • Take time to rest.