1.01 Managing Clarity: The Journey

Managing Clarity: The Journey

Principle: Arrive at a destination by making sure that every step is in that direction.


It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement. —Mabel Newcomber [1]

A traveler in ancient Greece, the story goes, met an old man walking along the road and asked him how to get to Mount Olympus. The old man, who turned out to be Socrates, replied: “Just make sure that every step you take is in that direction.” [2]

Don’t fly like an arrow; flow like a stream. – David Kueker


It’s late at night. As you drive through the dark, the way just ahead of you is brightly lit by your headlights. During the day you can see at a great distance but at night just a little bit in front of you. If you can see clearly that is sufficient. You know your destination; you’ve mapped it out.

You’re on the road to your destination. It’s a good road for your purpose; you’ve mapped it out. The road is safe. You know the stages or milestones of your journey. (A trustworthy road can also be a recipe, an algorithm, or a process.)

If you’re traveling at 60 miles an hour, that means you travel one mile each minute. In the dark, you cannot even see a mile. Your headlights allow you 7 seconds of visibility, 350 feet, but that’s enough. (The distance you can see falls to 160 to notice an object on the highway.) You know you are traveling on a road, that the road is maintained properly and that the future will unfold as it should if you can see clearly for the next 7 seconds. The next few steps are clear.

Anything that prevents you from clearly seeing, whether that is a mile ahead, 7 seconds ahead, or a year or 10 years ahead, is a problem that threatens your future and your life.

How do you get to Mount Olympus? Be certain that each step you take is in that direction.

 3 questions are important to me:

#1. WHAT exactly is Mount Olympus for me?

#2. Is there a road?

#3.  What is the next step?

QUESTIONS for thinking it through:

  1. Is my goal or destination clear, and is it in writing?
  2. What do I need to do today to move me toward my goal? What is the path? The recipe? The process?
  3. Is what I’m doing right now moving me toward my goal or away from it? [3]



[1] Dettmer, H. William. The Logical Thinking Process: A Systems Approach to Complex Problem Solving (Kindle Locations 1956-1958). ASQ Quality Press. Kindle Edition.

 [2] From http://www.inspirationpeak.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?search=travel&page=1
[3] Question #2 and #3 are from “If You Really Want to Achieve Something, Make Sure Every Step You Take Is in That Direction” from The Johnson Letters by Bruce D. Johnson, at http://www.thejohnsonletters.com/blog/every-step-in-that-direction/

This is an anchor post; its purpose is to begin a conversation, supported by other quotes and resources.

Any Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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