Today marks 3 months since Christmas (and 9 months until next Christmas if you’re counting!). Many of us will have pushed it out of mind, but not me!
Over the Christmas holidays, I stumbled on The Polar Express during a bout of channel surfing. While I’d heard rave reviews about the book – and the movie – I’d never read or seen either. Seasonal entertainment aside, I was struck by a powerful line from the conductor at the end of the movie when the children are getting back on the train… “the destination doesn’t matter – what matters is that you got on the train”.
What a powerful lesson for a child! It’s also a powerful lesson for people and for businesses – a lesson about action, decisiveness, commitment and focus. I don’t know how many kids would get this message, but it certainly is an important one.
The conductor’s line triggered a memory I have of a similar situation I experienced in business which resonated similarly with me, and has stayed with me for years. I often reference it in my own business consulting dealings, especially if someone is stuck or paralyzed, not certain about what to do, or what path to take.
Here’s the gist of what the consultant had said in relation to the many options and opportunities that a particular business was facing…”It’s as if you’re at an airport looking at the departure board trying to figure out where to go, which plane to get on. You have all these choices but you have to pick a destination, and just get on that plane.” He was so right, as was the conductor in The Polar Express.
Strength of character comes from being decisive and committed, taking action and having a focus. What you choose may not be perfect, but it’s a starting point that’s for sure. You won’t succeed if you don’t act. How many times have you been stuck – personally, in sports, in business? Remember the next time that you have to get unstuck by picking that flight or getting on the train. Then, you’ll go places!