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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Left Turn at Albuquerque....

Remember the good old days of cartoons?  Bugs Bunny? Daffy Duck? Elmer Fudd? Wylie Coyote?  Those were the glory days of cartoons!

Anyway, as I was thinking of this post today, something came to my mind...probably one of Bugs Bunny's most well known lines--besides, "ehhh, whats up doc??". 

We all remember watching a Bugs cartoon and seeing a line of dirt flying across the screen as Bugs quickly travelled to wherever it was that that cartoon was going to take place at.  And almost without fail, he'd pop out of his rabbit hole, look around and say, "I KNEW I should've taken that left turn at Albuquerque!"

If you don't remember that, watch this video to remind yourself.  If you have never watched Bugs Bunny, #1 Shame on you #2 you live a horribly sheltered life #3 watch this now!

Now, you may be asking, "What in the world am I suppose to learn from a 50+ year old cartoon character??"

Thanks for asking, I thought you never would! 

I am going to share with you how I feel MY life has gone, and hopefully we can all find some application.

I am 27 years old.  A lot of people would say that I've done alright in my life; and those that say that would be right.  I've got what many would consider a good job.  I've got a beautiful wife, a 3 year old daughter and another child on the way.  I grew up in a great family. 

I have been extremely blessed in my life.  But I am not where I want to be.  I have coasted through life.  I have let life happen to me. Rather than happening to my life. 

What do I mean by that?  I have not had a plan for my life.  I haven't determined where I want to go and set a plan in motion to achieve it.  I have received almost every single job I've had--not because I wanted them--but because they came along, and they got me out of the job I currently had (which more often than not, I had come to resent). 

Now for the analogy.  Bugs is always cruising along in his rabbit hole, going a million miles and hour.  Zigging and zagging across the screen.  When he pops out, he thinks he's made it to his destination.  He looks around and says "wait just a cotton pickin' minute!"--He's no where near where he should be.  When he realizes this, he takes out his trusty map and finds out that he "should've taken that left turn in Albuquerque!"

What can we learn?

Don't get "tunnel vision"
We too can get tunnel vision.  We get cruising along in our rabbit holes and we feel like we're making great progress!  We're "going places!" We're busy, we're getting raises, we're being complimented and encouraged.  But "going places" is only a good thing if you're going where you want to go! It would be better for us to take a break sometimes, pop out of our hole and take a look around to make sure we're going in the right direction.  If we aren't, at least we're closer to Albuquerque so we can get back there and take that left turn!

Know where you want to go
We have got to have a firm idea of where we want to go.  "I want to make lots of money" or "I want to have a really big house" or "I want to have a great family". We've got to be specific.  Specific goals will get us specific results.  Generalized goals will get us frustration and failure. Be specific about what you want and where you're going.

Have a map
Let's give Bugs some credit here, he had a map!  The map is our plan. The best goals in the world are only dreams without a plan to accomplish them.  Dave Ramsey often says that we should "back into" our plans.  Meaning, determine what we want to accomplish then go backwards to determine what needs to be accomplished to get there.  Figure out what you need to do every year, every month, every week, and every day. 

By utilizing these three lessons learned from Bugs Bunny, we can be sure that we'll get where we want to go, and not look up one day and realized we're millions of miles from where we wanted to be and if we'd only paid attention and taken the left turn right there in Albuquerque, we would be where we had hoped to be!

Question: What do you do to make sure that you get where you want to be in life?

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  1. I had to laugh out loud because I literally took a left turn at Albuquerque... That is the first town I lived in when I moved to the US! I faced lots of uncertainty and tough times, but now I am in a place that lines up with who and where I want to be.

  2. Haha. That's awesome. You LITERALLY took a left turn at Albuquerque!! What's even more, this is the first comment on my blog...thanks Lily :)

  3. What do I do to get to where I want to be in life? That's a great question Mark!

    Proverbs 4:26 - Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

    For me, I find it so easy to have my focus shift. Sometimes it happens within 60 minutes. Other times, a day. Other times, a week - but it happens.

    I have to keep bringing my focus back to what I feel is priority for me. Focus determines direction. Direction determines path. Path, eventually, determines destiny.

    So yeah...I'm always working hard at reining my focus in. I'm not good at that yet, but I'm working on it.

    Thanks for this insightful post Mark.

  4. Focus determines direction, direction determines path, path determines destiny. Love that! I'm the same way. I focus on new things almost to obsession, then it dies out. Haha. I'm working on that. Part of it for me has been not having a clear idea of where I want to go. That makes it hard to stay motivated and focused

  5. Timely! Well, for me, at ... this time ... not when you wrote it ... um....

    I'm working through Michael Hyatt's process of developing a life plan. It's heady, hard, enlightening and very rewarding. I'm learning a lot about myself, which was not what I had expected when I started.

    1. I JUST downloaded his ebook. I have yet to start it, but I am looking forward to the process. Are you saying I should block out more than one afternoon to do it? haha.

  6. I'm like Bret, working through Michael Hyatt's Life Plan process (started last year, but drastically changing this year). I'm on my third career and still don't know "what I want to be when I grow up." Got a few days off at the end of this week, so I will definitely be doing some mapping. Thanks for the great blog!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read it Carol! I hope it was worth the time! Like I just told Bret, I just downloaded Mike's ebook, so I'll be working on my life plan soon as well! Glad to hear that there's others on the path that I can follow and get advice and direction from!