We recently read a story about a young woman who had the opportunity to train with Philippe Petit, the man who walked between the Twin Towers on a wire 1,300 feet above the ground. As she was working with him, he noticed that she would get so excited about getting where she was going, she would falter where she was.
He told her she needed to understand the final three feet. He said, “You’re not there yet. You can still fall. You need to stay focused on the here and now.”
As is true of our clients, you’re probably not walking on wires far above the ground, but you are embarking on journeys that require you to find that balance of seeing where you want to go and staying focused in the here and now as you move toward that goal.
One of the things that frequently brings clients to coaching, is their realization that they are really good a envisioning a future and getting things started to bring that future to life, but they loose their balance (metaphorically) during the final three feet, thereby compromising their success.
The final three feet is a great metaphor for so many efforts:
- Finishing up the critical efforts in strategic implementation
- Having the conversation that closes the loop with your manager
- Giving someone important feedback when the project is almost complete
- Continuing to eat healthy after losing the first 10 pounds
- Doing the final read on a proposal that you have spent hours on, reviewed 5 times already and are ready send out
- Continuing to sit with your child each night as they learn the discipline to successfully complete their homework, even after you’ve sat with them for a week
Spend some time this week thinking about areas in your life where you lose focus in the final three feet and you fall from the path you had worked so hard to navigate. It may be with your work or your family, about your health or your spirit, or it may be about finishing a painting you started last year. The fall will not likely cause your death in the way that a fall from great heights will, but it will erode you and erode your confidence in your ability to complete things or continue with things that are important to you.