Spokes in a bicycle wheel are cheap. They only cost one dollar each, but they are crucial to the proper functioning of the bike. In the higher-end racing bicycles, when one of these spokes breaks, the bike starts drifting and the speed is cut in half. When two break, the bike becomes immobile. The same goes for us. When we lose focus and purpose, we begin to drift. Today, we’re taking a look at 16 “spokes” for living life without drifting.
Let’s start with How We Begin to Drift.
- Lack of Awareness: Drifting starts when we become unaware of the circumstances around us. If you want to lead others, you have to first be aware of yourself, then of others around you.
- Distractions: When we are distracted, we can’t focus on what is in front of us. Distractions lead us to become overwhelmed. Suddenly, instead of being in charge of the situation, we are its victim.
- Self-Deception: We can’t just pretend everything is fine. We have to have an understanding of what is really happening.
The Consequences of Drifting
- Confusion: When we drift, we live in the “why.” We don’t know where we’re going and wander aimlessly, always questioning if we’re in the right place.
- Expensive: When we aren’t sure where we’re going, the cost of building trust and relationships with others rises. However, when trust is high, cost goes down and speed goes up.
- Lost Opportunity: Unconscious incompetence is the name psychologists give to people who don’t know what they don’t know. These people are drifting and missing key connections, while their competitors are flying right by them.
- Regret: We can cry over yesterday, or we can look to the future. If we live in regret, we will always be drifting.
Correcting the Drift
Drifting is detrimental to success in business and in relationships. Now that we know all the bad things that can occur when we drift, let’s look at how to correct the drift, and what happens when we reach smooth sailing.
- Integrity: The key to setting our direction is integrity. Being a person of integrity has nothing to do with laws and regulations, and everything to do with our own personal actions.
- Diligence: If you don’t have a passion for what you’re doing, then you are either burned out or in the wrong profession. If this is you, it’s time to make a change. Once you are passionate about what you are doing, you will work diligently and with dedication to get the job done.
- Excellence: Not only should everything we do be done with excellence, but we should also know when it is “good enough to move on,” aka GETMO.
- Community: Developing true community means working for a purpose larger than yourself.
Community is the key ingredient we have to have to stop drifting in life. When we live in authentic relationship with others, we gain perspective, which gives us purpose and a plan.
Four Ways to Develop Authentic Community
- Proximity: Physical proximity does not create community on its own, but it is helpful to begin building relationships with others.
- Hospitality: Renowned speaker Krish Kandiah says that the opposite of prejudice is hospitality. When you bring people into your sphere and show them hospitality, you break down divisions and build relationships. The Bible is full of illustrations about the importance of sitting down with one another and showing hospitality. In fact, in the most famous Psalm, Psalm 23, the writer talks about a meal God has prepared for us. If God has shown such hospitality to us, should we not also show it to others?
- Relationships: Do not assume that just because you work or live beside someone that you have a relationship with them. To build true community, we have to create relationships with others across the spectrum of age, ethnicity and gender.
- Peacemaking: When you get people together, there will always be conflict. Until you learn how to make peace, instead of merely keeping it, there will always be tension.
The Bible says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9). It doesn’t matter how successful we are; if we’re not creating peace, first internally, with our Heavenly Father, and then externally, with others around us, we are missing the point. We have an incredible opportunity to build community, but we won’t see it if we are drifting.