“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

-Viktor Frankl

Life is not a series of events in a uniform line, a track with a runner simply putting one step in front of the other easily concentrated on the one task of crossing the finish line ahead. We like to perceive our lives as it relates to our goals in this manner because it’s simple. But, if this were so, we wouldn’t need coaches, teachers, mentors, and even stories to guide us. It’s easy to be pulled off course through cause and effect of external circumstance, but it doesn’t mean we write off circumstance all together, as it’s these very externals that assist us in aligning our aim. It’s easy to direct our focus and zero in when things are going right, when everything is aligning. The abruptness and unpredictability of life will veer us off course; and it’s not that they could veer us off course, its that they will. Then our aim will become multiple aims and When we are aiming at everything, we are aiming at nothing. 

So, life is not a track, it’s a sea of events where we are left to navigate the waters. The bills coming in, unread emails compounding in our inbox, the influence of emotion from our peers. It’s inevitable to be thrown off track, a ship never steers in a perfectly straight line. It’s what we do when we are thrown off track that really makes a difference, and if we aren’t the type of person that makes corrections, we can always learn to build ourselves, to become better over time in making those corrections by starting with very small manageable corrections. A ship thrown off course does redirect that course when it is thrown off it’s aim, if not it will be left to drift in a sea of the unknown.

So, how to we direct our focus to keep our aim? We can use a multitude of tools, we are usually dependant on others in order to hold us accountable. We can lean on exemplary role models,  interdependent friends/family, or coaches. If we are more introverted and independent we can rely on calendars or goal setting reminders. We can learn to conduct our lives rather than have our lives conduct us. This way, the beautiful music of our lives is still playing, only we are controlling the rhythm and the tempo.

Accountability is powerful, all of these analogies and explanations lead to the simple fact that planning for accountability is like revealing our north star. Which helps to guide us when other things get in the way of our navigation, blurring our sites on our target. Many things can be thrown at us and we will bend, sway, and even be pushed around by external things. But as long as we are accountable to an aim, we will be able to direct our focus and correct our course in order to once again take aim.

Always keep your aim.