Already having the theme song to Indiana Jones playing in your head will be helpful. Because you’re about to do something rather adventurous and in Indy’s spirit: Cross a completely different bridge.
How many times have you seen a coach, mentor, facilitator, motivational speaker, etc. talk about “bridging the gap” between where you are and where you want to be? The likely answer is more than you can count. It’s like asking which politicians have run their campaigns on the platform of “change.” The better question, and much shorter list, is, “Which ones haven’t?” (Now if we could only get them to tell us exactly to what they want to change! But I digress…)
Bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to be is all well and good, but most people are making mistakes when it comes to doing so. By whose design are they building their bridge? Often it’s someone else’s. This is mistake number one. And the solution is simple:
If you are where YOU are, and you can see where YOU want to be, it makes more sense to use a bridge by YOUR design.
Even if you are where someone else was, and you want to go where they went, are you sure their bridge is the right one? The simple truth is that no matter how similar your goals are, no matter how much you believe you want exactly what they have, you aren’t going to cross that same bridge in the same way.
You won’t walk in the exact same steps, the exact same way, at the exact same pace, with the exact same people and certainly not at the exact same time (as the time they crossed it has already passed). And this is because of one, basic fact: You aren’t them. And while potentially effective, their bridge is unlikely the best one, however you measure “best,” for you.
You might think, “But I can learn from their missteps and cross it better.” This is a seductive thought. But the truth is that if they designed that bridge, no matter how much analysis you put into it, they will know it more intimately. And avoiding one misstep might cause another, perhaps bigger one.
In addition, there are other considerations such as whether or not the bridge is still an effective, efficient and viable way to get there, even for them. So building a bridge of your own design does seem like a more, dare I say, “authentic” solution, and the one with the highest chance of success.
Now if this sounds like I’m unnecessarily reinventing the wheel, taking more time and energy needed as the previous bridge might be “good enough,” then I have some great news for you. The new bridge doesn’t need to be designed or built. What if I told you that the bridge of your design is already there, constructed, approved and waiting for use? Would you believe me? You might think to yourself that if what I say is true, you would have already crossed the bridge and be where you want to be instead of where you are. And this would likely be true if it weren’t for one, small detail: You can’t see the bridge.
This is mistake number two: Failing to see the bridge of your design that already exists.
Indy took a great leap of faith when it came to finding his bridge. He had to set aside what he knew to be true: Gravity and its effects on the human body. He had to truly think outside of the box to achieve his objective. He had no safety net to catch him and no trail-blazer before him to follow. What can I say? Indy was a bad ass. All he had was something to guide and coach him in finding his way – the way that although he couldn’t see it, was right in front of him.
The truth is that most of us have a tremendous potential to get in our own way and keep ourselves from getting to where we want to be. We become so focused on the chasm we need to cross that we become blind to the bridge that is right in front of us. This can happen for any number of reasons, but the bottom line is that “bridging the gap” doesn’t require architecture and construction; lifting beams and girders. It only requires the lifting of a sub-conscious, self-imposed veil. And it is extremely rare this is done alone. Hey, even bad ass Indy had guides.
Like what does your bridge look? Is it a suspension bridge, like the Golden Gate? Is it an arch bridge like the Zhijinghe in China? Perhaps it’s a truss bridge like the Astoria-Megler Bridge in Oregon. Or maybe it’s no bridge at all. If you considered that what you need to bridge the gap might just be a reliable Sikorsky, you’re getting the picture. (It’s a helicopter, in case you didn’t know.) Of course, now that you see it, you’re going to need a good pilot.
Perhaps I should change my branding of “Mirror, Mentor, Mediator, Messenger” to also include “Magician.” Now you don’t see it… Abracadabra! Now you do.
And now, because I know you’re “Jonsing” for it…
It’s your kingdom. Make it REIGN.
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