Diversions, and not the amusement kind, seem to be related to setting upon the road to a desired goal. Perhaps they are part of the “resistance” that Steven Pressfield describes in The War of Art or maybe some safeguard created by the Great Is, but they always show up when honing in on a desired goal. As much as we want to continue, or even try to ignore them, there they are, nipping at our subconscious or sense of duty.
I use to let the frustration of diversions fester in me, but having become a kind of master of diversion management, I have reluctantly learned to (almost) welcome them. Diversions, all these little packets of ‘have-to’ and ‘would-you-please’ are really paving stones that arrive early. Whether it is a branch on my Life path, or just a daily request that will throw me off by a week, it they become part of the road I’m building to my success.
The real question is will we return to our original pursuit? We’ve been changed, either by the diversions that took us away from the path, or by time itself. Does our original path or objective seem as relevant? Is the passion still there? Does our heart jump, the cells tingle, the spine strength when we now face the path again? Sometimes not. Then we need to check in with our own inner guide and ask, “more resistance?” or “I’ve changed, how do I correct my course?”.
Decades ago the marketing gurus were selling seminars on “Fire, Ready, Aim” instead of the popular “Ready, Aim, Fire.” Take action, beta release the product; pause and observe customer reaction; correct course, product or presentation; then repeat the cycle. Customers reactions are important feedback for a marketer, for they tell us if we have communicated the value of the product in a way that will spur sales. No feedback or comments should go unnoticed, they all tell you something — both about the customer and their needs, and about the product and marketing. Even the clearly I-love-to-complain comments have value. It is your job to listen intently and decode these messages.
Don’t be surprised if you find one of your earlier diversion — a look at new applications, reading what seemed to be unrelated articles, even other paths taken and abandoned while searching for the door to your success — come to mind and influence how you adjust or solve a situation presented in the feedback stage.
Yes, there are no mistakes. The sooner we accept this, the sooner we can stop self-criticism and realize our road to our goal is paved with many experiences, lessons, distractions, amusements…diversions. May you embrace the many stones before you.