Whether you are basking in the glow of a prosperous and fulfilling 2015 or trying to forget the challenges of last year, we will all most likely have to face another watershed moment in the New Year. A watershed moment represents a critical turning point when an important change happens. The decisions we make in that moment definitely affects the outcome of our year; however, the attitude and dedication with which we follow our new path will affect the rest of our lives.
Think back through your life to those moments that changed your path and drove your steps. Many of those seemingly monumental decisions are now forgotten in a stream of consciousness that dwells on the here and now. The new paths we take can lead either to new successes, dead ends or, even worse, dangerous areas.
In my experience, it is not the eventual destination of the new path that we dwell on in years after, it is the effort that was exerted to get there. Think about anything that you have accomplished that took herculean effort or think of those who have accomplished world-class feats such as climbing Mount Everest or completing an ironman triathlon.
When you speak to those people or think back on your own accomplishments, the end result is sweet, but the story they tell people is most often of the struggle and perseverance it took to accomplish the goal. To the Everest climber, it was the training and the ascent, not the eventual summit they are most proud of and love to tell their friends about. To the working father who finishes an ironman triathlon, it is the countless hours in the pool early in the morning before work or the late nights cycling while the family sleeps that others love to hear and the athlete loves to tell.
In October 2015, I had one of those watershed moments. The decision I made was risky but calculated. The plan was well thought out and the eventual goal was defined, visualized and eagerly anticipated. Those affected by this business decision were carefully considered and their successful transition was of utmost importance.
However, all of this planning did not fully prepare me for the road ahead. Within thirty days of taking this path, obstacles and new adversaries appeared that I hadn’t anticipated or (in my opinion) deserved. For me, clearing the path and helping others keep their eye on the destination provide me with the energy I need to keep walking. For Strategies Group, 2016 will be a year of sometimes exhausting path clearing, but the end result will be our ability to provide our clients with the best business solutions that will allow them to plan and execute their own watershed moments.
My encouragement to each of you is don’t dwell only on the goal, but get energy and fulfillment from the herculean effort that will go into creating the summit experience. The lessons learned during this time will be what you build your company or personal future on. Most of the summit moments will be just a fleeting memory, but the effort exerted will always be nourishment for your future growth.