Taken from the book Police Time Management, by me.
“We need a sense of vision of we are to get something worth having. We need to have a goal or goals towards which we can strive. But in order to know where we are going, we also sometimes need to know where we are.
I remember many years ago when I was driving “The Big Van” in support of officers anticipating the usual weekend public disorder in what was euphemistically referred to (in those days) as a Cowboy Town. The Big Van would drive around the extended Division, crewed by two divisional officers whose remit was to attend any disorder in support of local officers. This involved the van being staffed by officers from different town sections so that we could safely be expected to know the expanded area which we were expected to patrol.
One night, my partner and I stopped in what was ‘his’ patch, and a young lad walked up to the open window on the driver’s side, apparently to ask my driving partner for directions. No sooner had my partner started to provide advice on how the lad could get to his stated destination than the said lad knocked my partner’s hat off and ran away. Naturally my partner pursued him, alighting from our Van in order to do so. And equally naturally, they ran the way we had just come so I could not simply follow in the van.
I scooted over into the driving seat, laboriously turned the van and drove in the direction they had run, driving around a roundabout in order to do so. Then the call came that my partner had apprehended his prey and a struggle was taking place. He named the street he was in – which was familiar to him but not, as luck would have it, to me. He’d run after the lad in ‘his’ town leaving the officer from abroad (me) in the van.
I called for directions and was told by a control room operator to ‘go to the roundabout and take the second exit’. I started driving back towards the roundabout, and it was only as I arrived at that hazard that I realised that the person who’d given me the directions hadn’t a clue where I was because I hadn’t told him – so how could he possibly have known which exit I had to take? In order to accurately get me to the required destination, he should first have asked me where I was. (Which may have explained my accident with a taxi, but that’s another story.)
This is true in all journeys from where you are to where you want to be, both physical and metaphorical. If I want something, I need to know how to go about it, and I need to know what skills, knowledge and interest I have NOW that may need to be complemented if I am to achieve my desired result.
If I want to lose weight, I need to know how much I weigh NOW so that I can identify how much I have to lose, how I should lose it, and how I am progressing as time passes. I may also need to know why I am the weight I am so that I don’t repeat the mistakes that got me overweight in the first place. I need to look at what has led to NOW so that I can discover my route to the outcome sought.
In other words, in order to get to where I want to be, I have to take a moment to ascertain exactly where I am in order to deduce the route I need to take. The same applies in all areas of life, personal and professional.”
Take a moment to identify where you are now in terms of where it is you are going – you might find out you need to change direction if you’re going to get there.