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Be The Best.

The Path Forward

The hills of Michigan. Nov 2020.

On a hike this weekend I was reminded of advice we use a lot in business circles – but is equally applicable to every day life. Think about where you’ve been (the past) 10% of the time and where you’re going 90%. As the November leaves covered much of the trail, going downhill could be a little slippery. I thought of a modification to that thinking.

Understanding where you’ve been is important. But don’t spend a lot of time there. 10% is good. 90% looking forward is also good, but the breakdown that hit me is that I needed to look down at my immediate next step about 45% of the time and look forward and around 45% of the time. Ok, that is probably too much math in a 10 year retrospective blog, but bear with me. If I don’t keep looking at my immediate future, I’ll lose my footing or not see an immediate danger and could fall. Then I’m out. That means the immediate is important. However, if I spend all my time on the immediate, I’ll never truly understand where I’m going. I need to see the fork in the road, the signs up ahead, the traffic coming towards me. This thought, like many things in life, seems contradictory but the paradox is powerful.

To see where you are going, you need to understand where you've been, pay close attention to your next step and lift your head constantly to see the path forward. 
This is the original ‘Be The Best’ picture and Chris was not happy I wanted him to pose for it after coming home from a lacrosse game. I like silhouettes however and I’m so happy he complied…under duress.

Chris would be 27 years old this year. Of course we think about that and where he would have gone to University, played lacrosse and what his career would be. Would he be married? Have a girlfriend? Ten years since his passing, he is in our thoughts every single day and probably 100 times per day. I don’t think that ever changes. We can’t bring him back to life here on earth and that is the 10% that we need to acknowledge but not stay there. Our decisions that we make day after day represents the present and immediate steps. The review of the future and making plans for the future, even though never forgetting, is the part that connects with lifting our heads and looking forward.

Who knew a hike through the woods could be so philosophical. Have a good week. 😉

By Randy Friesen

Randy Friesen is a business strategist, manager and educator based in Vancouver, BC and Detroit, Michigan. He is also a husband and father. He loves the creative process and is active in creating art and music.

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