Point Your Boat at the Little Red House

adventure goals moticise Jun 25, 2014

During one of the Moti-adventures, I led a group of women kayaking to the Statue of Liberty. The workshop was about riding the currents of your life, and breaking our goals down into milestones.

As we got started, we could see the Statue of Liberty, and it looked so far away. Our kayaks felt so tiny—it was a little ominous; even I as the leader was like, oh my gosh, how are we going to make this happen?

The first thing the instructor told us was, don’t look at the Statue of Liberty. You know it’s there, you’ve seen it; you know that’s the goal; now let’s break it down. Our first destination is going to be that little red brick house on the other side of the river. Keep the tip of your boat focused on that house. And just paddle until you get there.

So that’s how we overcame that fear that arises when you’re starting something new. It can be scary, to look at your goal, your end point, maybe your whole dream vision. You might think, but my boat is so tiny, and it’s so far away; there’s so much work to do to get there. And the scary thing is, those fears can prevent us from ever starting.

The next milestone after the red house was a green buoy. And then it was an anchored ship. And so we crisscrossed down the river, until the final milestone was the Statue—and then there we were, looking up at this amazing statue in these tiny little kayaks, and it was such a phenomenal feeling.

For me, it was a powerful lesson of how you need to know your end destination—but you also need to map out each milestone. How can you turn a big, daunting task into achievable, not-so-scary steps?

And when your boat is pointed at the little red house, when you’re so clear and so focused, and you take actions that are directly applicable to that goal, you’ll find that other things will start to happen. Suddenly out of the woodwork, you’ll get phone calls, or you’ll meet somebody, or you’ll come up with an idea. It’s because you’re setting out on a specific quest, and that energy, desire, emotion, that electricity, all those will then come back and help support you.

And when you get to each milestone, there’s a great sense of accomplishment, so you feel that celebration, victory, and then you move to the next one. And rather than sitting at the starting point looking at the ending point, you’re paddling… And then you’re there.

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