Facts from the Fog
She barely could get the car pulled to the side of the road as the fog settled over her. No one else could see it, but momma could. She suddenly couldn’t remember which way to turn to get home. She had no idea where she was at that moment or any idea where she lived, so she waited until the fog lifted.
Then, she was all right for a few days. The fog would come unexpectedly and then clear out just as quickly as it had come.
It had been getting worse the past few weeks. She had tried to open a can of corn with a butcher knife; she just couldn’t remember how to get that can to open. She had locked my dad out of the car and couldn’t remember how to unlock the door for him!
It was a terrible ordeal for a dozen years as we watched her get worse and worse until she didn’t recognize her children most of the time. Finally, the fog came and would not go away. I am talking about my own mother, so don’t think that I’m making light of the situation. It was devastating!
1) Unpreventable Fog
I can tell you that in your business, a fog can settle over you in a moment’s notice and you can become so lost that you have no clue what to do next or where to turn for help! In the beginning stages of your career, you can’t help it; it just happens. You can become overwhelmed with the amount of material presented on a daily basis. Paralysis by analysis can set in and if you are not careful, you can go through the motions for days, analyze, scrutinize and get nowhere. Are you hearing me? This is the voice of experience speaking.
When you have a clear head, a clear vision and can think straight, formulate a plan of action that you can follow, so that when the fog comes (and it will) you won’t have to wonder what to do next. In those times you can stick to the plan that you have already made while you were thinking clearly. Don’t make large decisions while you are in a fog; don’t make large purchases when you aren’t sure which direction to go; don’t get sucked in by a tremendous sales page that promises the world when you aren’t thinking clearly.
A fog will blur your vision so that all you can see is ’right now’, not the big picture. The fog will cause you to be irrational and make choices that you will regret when you once again have your focus intact. This fog will pass. Just pull out the goals that you have written down. Step back a bit and remember the big picture. Get your priorities back on track and the fog will eventually lift and you can move forward again.
2) Preventable Fog
Your lack of vision can also cause you to follow the crowd and just do what everyone else is doing, because that’s all you can think to do.
I live in the St Louis area where protests are still going on over a shooting that happened weeks ago in the streets of Ferguson, MO. I will not get into what happened or didn’t happen or who is right or who is wrong. None of that matters for the purpose of this writing. What is important is the fact that weeks have passed and the protests are still going on.
Protesters have inconvenienced people (i.e., blocking roads, closing stores), and it is not helping their cause. The attention that they are getting is not producing the results that they want. Almost all of the protestors, now, are from out of town. The citizens of Ferguson aren’t even involved for the most part. People are gathering from St Louis, Chicago and many other cities to protest and most of them don’t even know why. The message and the purpose of it all is lost in their antics. They damage stores, steal from innocent people and block entrances to the stores. Most people around these parts are not very sympathetic to their cause because their message and their purpose is obstructed by their violence. They are operating with a mob mentality, a fog, a lack of vision, a lack of purpose and a lack of results. They are following the crowd because they don’t know what else to do.
You can escape this type of fog, in your business, by surrounding yourself with the right people. Rub shoulders with successful people. Hang out with respected people in your niche. Get advice from a trusted source. Hire the right mentor or coach. Ask questions. Set yourself apart from the crowd. If your focus is clear and your vision intact, you won’t do something just because everyone else is doing it!!
Bobb Biehl is a firm believer in the power of questions as an important component of success. “No problem is the world,” he says, “has ever been solved without a question or series of questions being asked first. Learning to ask is a prerequisite to learning to think clearly. If you are not able to ask questions, you will ultimately make cloudy distinctions, reach uncertain decisions, and take wrong actions.”
You can learn a lot about yourself and others if you ask the right questions, then stop and listen to the answer. Get some help. You don’t have to wander aimlessly in a fog!