Promised Land

Gerwig 2013-08-02

If you could live anywhere you wanted, where would it be? … Some of you might like a trendy condo or loft in New York, or London, or Sydney, or Hong Kong. Some of might prefer to live on a lake in Switzerland, or in Malibu, or in St. Tropez, or in Maui. While I think I could live in ANY of those places, when I think of the Promised Land, I think about something that looks like the picture above (taken in the Rocky Mountains of the American West).

In the above scene, I picture elk and big horn sheep and grizzlies and trout and horses and all types of wildlife. There are a few cabins but mostly wide open vistas and big sky. The winter is cold, full of snow and filled with snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The spring is an amazing time of new life, colorful wildflowers and the promise of warmth and sun and activity. The summer brings fly-fishing for trout and long days. The fall amazes with color and crisp, cool mornings and fires in the fireplace.

In the Promised Land pictured above, you have a cellar full of food and an abundance of fresh, cool, clean mountain water to drink. Your cabin is run by a maintenance-free solar system. Your Wi-Fi and cell phone is available via a special satellite transmission. You get the idea? It’s perfect. Or nearly so. Well, let’s say it’s perfect. It’s the Promised Land after all.

Well, all joking aside, though the scene above is an amazing place, few of us are fortunate enough to live in such a place. Yet it is a goal. A target. A focal point. … Your promised land might be your vacation home, your retirement nest eggs or any of countless goals. You see, the Promised Land I’m referring to is not the Promised Land in the traditional sense. I’m not referring to the land promised to the nation of Israel or to heaven.

I’m using the term promised land to refer to a goal or target you have. It’s something you can describe. Something toward which you can measure you progress. Something to strive toward. … You’ve no doubt heard the saying that if you don’t know your goal, how will you know, if and when, you’re there. And how will you know if you’re making progress toward your goal.

If you want to get to the Promised Land, you must know what it is. You must define it. You must be able to describe it to others. Once you can do that, set a plan. Set milestones along the way. Measure your progress. Celebrate steps along the way. Yes, reaching the Promised Land is important AND so is the journey.

In reality, you might have a handful of significant goals. In the Promised Land, there’s room for more than one objective. In the scene above, there are mountains, valleys and forests. There’s a stream running along the edge of the forest near the meadow. In the Promised Land, there’s abundance. You can have more than one dream. Your vision can be deep and wide. There’s no reason to limit yourself.

This brief article isn’t about it “dream it and it will come to pass.” It’s about defining where you want to go, what you want to accomplish, developing a plan and then working the plan. To get to the Promised Land, you’ll need to work. There will be setbacks. But if you’re disciplined, focused and not afraid of hard work, you can do it.

And when you do, you can enjoy all four seasons. You can enjoy the sunrise and the sunset. You can enjoy the singing of birds and thunder from a summer storm. When you reach the Promised Land, you can enjoy the sense of achievement. And you can help be a guide for others. You can serve them with keen insight gained from your own journey of success.

Do you know where you’re headed? Can you describe in detail your promised land? Do you have a plan to get there? If you’re already there, what advice do you have for someone still on the journey?

As always, the floor is open to your comments, suggestions, thoughts, and feedback.

Dr. is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]


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