Advice & Features Articles

Plan ahead but prepare to pivot

Few can argue the importance of perseverance in our lives. Determination to succeed, unwavering focus on a goal, and a steadfast commitment to forge on despite difficulties, failure, or opposition are worthy character traits. Yet there is a point where the needle goes too far, and you may find that sticking to the plan is no longer effective. In comes “The Pivot.” 

Pivoting is the art of recognizing that the direction in which you’ve invested significant time and energy is no longer the correct path to follow. This action, like we see in a basketball game, of stepping with one foot while keeping the other foot firmly in place, is essential in the game of life as well.  A pivot allows us to stay rooted in what we’ve learned so far while making a fundamental course correction in order to successfully achieve our goal. 

The pivot requires great introspection, moxie, and resolve. Sometimes we resist the pivot because we are afraid that our friends and family will think we’ve wavered, quit, or failed. However, we need to be willing to accept that our original plan, albeit sound when we embarked upon it, is no longer working. Modifying the plan while staying focused on the destination also forces us to learn and grow. So along with grit and determination, let’s add flexibility to the list of attributes we want to foster in our kids.

I’ve always been far better at perseverance than pivoting.  I’m a firm believer in being firm in my beliefs, and I’ve always thought that if I just worked harder I’d get to the positive end result.  Yet, I’ve always taught my kids, now 18, 20 and 21 years old, to plan ahead, but always be prepared to alter their course.  Perseverance is admirable, I tell them, but being immovable is not.  I advise them to be strong, confident, and steadfast, but to reassess and reevaluate regularly. This year, I am resolving to take a dose of my own medicine and embrace “The Pivot” in my own life. And, I am excited about what that change of course will mean to me personally and professionally.

This edition of GLF is filled with insights and ideas that I hope will help you decide when to persevere and when it’s time to pivot.  Our VIP Award recipient is a consummate example of the power of pivoting when he lost his sight but found a new vision (Page 12). This story, and those of all our prior VIP (Very Inspiring Person) Award recipients, remind me of the importance of finding the balance between persevering and pivoting.  You can read about all 30 of our past VIPs on goodLIFEfamilyMag.com, and please feel free to share their amazing stories of transformation.

As you embark on 2020, I wish you a new year filled with everything good.  And the perseverance to make it even better.

– Sheryl

Live. Learn. Laugh.  (pivot!)  Repeat.

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