Houston, We Have a Problem

What would your year-end headline read?

Don’t look now, but the year is coming to a close. Do you have clarity? If you sat down today, to write a headline to describe your year, how would it read?

clarity, story, headlines, personal annual review, review, HR, success, achievement

A little over 20 years ago my headline would have read, “Houston, We Have a Problem!” 

Few things are worse than being lost, knowing you are lost and not willing to admit it. Every man knows this. Every woman has observed it.

Let me take you back 20 years and you’ll see why you should make it a priority to complete a personal annual review.

Houston, We Have a Problem

James Lovell originally utter the words, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” during the Apollo 13 space mission. The third mission to land on the moon nearly ended in disaster when an oxygen tank explosion crippled their spaceship.

The phrase has “Houston, we have a problem,” is now a common phrase for admission of a problem.

The subheading for my year’s story headline would have read “Home Failure!”

Experience is Inevitable But Learning is Optional

I was in a busy season of life—the busiest. We packed our family up and moved for a promotion. Everything in the moment was urgent and important.

I was so confused about how to handle everything I even promised Matthew and Andrew they could get a dog without even consulting my wife. Hey, I just blurted it out.

I made a mistake! I take it back—“Noooo!” “Ah,” the first sign I am in trouble. Emotional promises can never be reclaimed or deferred. Congratulations, you are now a dog owner.

I’d like to tell you this was an isolated misstep. But it wasn’t. The very nature of time produces experiences. But, it is up to us if we learn anything from these personal inflection points.

Clarity Produces Joy

I was lost. It sounded better if I said, “disoriented.” I was pouring myself into my job largely because it was where I felt most comfortable and in control. My compass was pointing to magnetic north.

A compass contains a needle that naturally swings to “magnetic north.” The problem is magnetic north can vary as much as 25 degrees from true north.

How big a problem is it? Well, a compass that is pointed only one-half degree from true north will leave you up to a mile away from your intended destination after traveling 100 miles.

I knew where I wanted to go, but my compass was off. The joy we most desire and covet is true north. The adjustment from “magnetic north” to “true north” requires clarity. When we make decisions through lens of who and what is important we get on track.

How Do You Gain Clarity?

Conduct a “Personal Annual Review.” Our compass needs constant recalibration. Life is not a static journey. If we don’t recalculate our route and reset our compass to “true north,” we will end up drifting away from our intended destination.

What happened to me, 20 years ago, was that I had not recalculated my route and reset my compass. It is easy to do. We can drift for awhile without getting too far off course. Taking time to recalculate and assure we have clarity assures we don’t get lost.

Write A Great Headline in 2018!

Adjust your compass, gain clarity and accelerate into the New Year by completing a “Personal Annual Review.”

I’ve made it easy! If you are a subscriber, I’ll send you a link so you can download this simple workbook. If you are not a subscriber, just sign-up and it will be on its way.

Question: How can I help you with your plan? Leave a comment and let’s start the conversation! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

2 thoughts on “Houston, We Have a Problem

  1. Hello Jim,
    In 2017 I conquered personal goals. Daily focus and determination kept my compass pointed in the right direction.
    Impactful Notes gives me food for thought.
    I’m so blessed to have you and you’re inspiration in my life.
    Happy New Year!!!!

Comments are closed.