The Next 20 Feet

Driving your car through a dense morning fog, your visibility is about the same as trying to read a textbook through wax paper. Even with your fancy LED fog lights, the intersection that’s less than a block away is nothing more than an opaque blur. In this scenario, just like in life, you have a few options at your disposal.

You could stop your car altogether, waiting patiently for the fog to clear. But what if the fog turns to rain a few hours later, and then hail after that? Staying stuck on the side of the road of life is no way to reach your destination. Standing still out of fear while others zing past on the highway is like asking your GPS navigation system to route you directly to Regretville.

Another option is to barrel ahead at full throttle. While there’s a slight chance that you’ll arrive early to your breakfast meeting, there’s a much higher probability that you’ll end up in a ditch. Reduced visibility hampers your ability to react to changing conditions, which makes the forge-ahead strategy particularly dangerous.

The best approach, in my humble opinion, is to proceed with caution and focus on the 20 feet ahead of you right now. On high alert for shifting circumstances, you remain grounded in the moment and ready to react. As you safely conquer the first 20 feet, the next 20 that were previously a blur now come into perfect view. You proceed deliberately and purposefully, 20 feet at a time.

In the midst of a global pandemic, political turmoil, and economic instability, how should we move forward in our current state of heavy fog? Twenty feet at a time. Freezing like a deer in headlights could actually be just as risky as blindly racing ahead, with neither approach likely to deliver you safely through the haze. In these times of heightened uncertainty, we need to remain present, aware, and ready to course-correct as new information emerges.

We’re all feeling stressed about where the road may lead. But the best countermeasure to our smog-filled times is to slowly and deliberately tackle the next 20 feet. The clouds will eventually clear and there will be sunny days ahead. In the meantime, let’s proceed thoughtfully… one 20-foot stretch at a time.