When I was a kid there was a metal sign on my path to school. It was just to the left of the worn walking path that led from my home in Perlaucher Forrest to Munich America Elementary School. This sign wasn’t actually on the small worn path that cut through grass. It was a road sign that gave instruction to the drivers. Where we walked wasn’t an official sidewalk, but so many feet had walked there that a dirt path became permanent right through the grass. So now can you picture it: a small dirt path through the grass beside the road with a metal sign signaling the drivers?
To this day I couldn’t tell you what the sign said, but I can describe in great detail how it felt when the sharp metal of the sign grazed the left side of my head. I can tell you how it felt when my head smashed against, nicked it and the swish of just my hair sweeping across it. I can even tell you how it felt to hit the sign three times in a row with different parts of my head as well.
You might wonder why I would run into the same sign time and time again. In my defense we didn’t know that I had a perception problem out of my left eye at the time and the sign was on my left side. I only hit the sign when I was walking towards school and I never hit it on my way home. But really doesn’t it make sense that I would find some other indicator that the sign was ahead and make a wide loop to avoid hitting?
It wasn’t until the time that I hit my head so hard that I fell to the ground from the impact that my relationship with the sign changed forever. On this particular occasion I was disoriented and laughing so hard that I stood up and walked right back into the sign. I was then so stunned from the second hit that I stood up directly under the sign and hit my head again. I then crawled away from the sign while rubbing my head. I was no longer laughing. I got up several feet away from the sign. That changed my perception of the sign forever. Before it was just a nuisance that smarted a little bit, but now the sign was full on attacking me. In my mind it was now as if I was living in a real life cartoon and the sign was chasing me and bonking me on the head.
From that day forward I deviated off the worn path in the grass. I walked beside the path in the grass for the entire length of that block. I had determined that I didn’t have to walk on the dirt path. There was no regulation that said I couldn’t walk on the grass. After all the worn path had once been grass. Masses of people had walked through the grass over the same path until the grass was worn away. The original forgers of the path had made it far too close to that metal sign for my liking. I decided I could make my own path to school. It was right next to the one that everyone else took but my new path was a more successful path for me. I could still be friends with everyone else who was on the path.
Have you ever looked at your life and seen that you are just walking along the same worn path as everyone else and it isn’t working out right for you? Have you ever found yourself falling over the same stumbling blocks over and over again? Give yourself permission to forge your own path. It doesn’t have to deviate greatly from the one you were on.
If you change your path by one degree it will completely change what is in your path and where you end up. If you changed your course in life by one degree imagine what you could accomplish. In fact if you were literally walking and you changed your direction by one degree then each mile you would have deviated 92 feet from the original path. Over the years that could seriously accumulated and change your life and business.
A calculated decision to turn up the intensity of your business could also make a huge difference. After all 211° F is just hot water but 212° F is boiling water.
There are no signs around us saying that we have stay off the grass and stay on the path . . . make your own path and make it decisively before you hit your head on same stumbling blocks along the path that you’ve been hitting time and time again. One degree of a calculated deviation from the path you are on can be the difference that your business needs to take you to the next level. But keep in mind that one degree in the wrong direction can take you places you don’t want to go.