The Principle of the Path is a book by Andy Stanley.
The Principle of the Path is this: Direction, not intention, determines our destination. It doesn’t matter how much you want to go to Florida. If you are driving north out of Chicago, it’s not going to happen.
We Need A New Direction, Not a Solution
In chapter two of The Principle of the Path, Andy makes an interesting point: we often don’t need a solution. We need a new direction. For example, if I find myself in Green Bay after driving two hours north of Chicago, I don’t need a solution. There is no solution. There is no quick fix. What I need is a new direction. I’ve got to admit that I’ve wasted four hours, turn around, and get on the road to Florida.
Lance Armstrong Doesn’t Need a Solution
This is where Lance Armstrong might heed Andy’s advice. Lance doesn’t need a solution right now. Nothing will fix what he broke. He might think that making an apology will at least buy him back the right to compete in future sporting events. But if he looks at his apology as a solution he’s sadly mistaken. What people want to see is a new direction. They want to see that month after month and year after year he follows a new path. Then, and only then, might they decide to grant him the right to compete again.
The Mistake of Apologies
This is where offenders often go wrong. They come clean and confess. That is SO HUGE to them they think they’ve done something radical. Something noble. They think they’ve found a solution to their problem. They want the world to applaud them and allow them to continue on. But that’s only the beginning, not the end.
What people do after the apology tells us what we want to know: will they follow a new path? Have they found the right direction? Will they stay the course? Only time will tell if Lance Armstrong sets a new course and follows it as closely as he followed his bike tour routes.
Are You Looking for a Solution or a New Direction?
What about you? Maybe you are in a jam right now. You realize that you’ve blown it. Are your scrambling for a solution? Desperate for THE answer? Consider a new direction.
New Direction + Time = A Better Place
Question: Can you relate to this distinction between solution and direction? Have you wasted time looking for a solution when what you needed was to start moving in a new direction? Take a second and tell me about it below.
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