What is your game plan?

Over the Christmas break I did a hike in the Transkei, South Africa. This is a very beautiful, rural and exposed part of South Africa. Two of us set off on a 4 day hike where we wanted to soak in the beauty, quietness and also push ourselves physically. Well I am glad to say we managed to achieve all of that and some more!

We set off on day 3 without a guide and felt incredibly strong and so pushed quite hard. The weather was pretty miserable and so there was nothing more to do than just walk on. We arrived at what was supposed to be our overnight destination and with the weather not that great decided that it was better to push on rather than spend the afternoon in a tent.

Now the route is not marked and the terrain is criss-crossed with various animal tracks and small paths. We set off and within an hour the weather really turned. We could hear each-other if we were more than one metre apart and couldn’t raise our heads as the rain was battering us. It isn’t much of a surprise when we got lost. We found ourselves at the top of a gorge with no idea how to get round it. We had no idea where we were, we had a rough idea of which direction we were heading (keep the ocean on our left hand side) and didn’t have a tent for shelter.

As we stood at the top of the gorge I remembered a vehicle track (that hadn’t been used in a long time) but was our only option. Vehicles don’t go through gorges they go round them so our game plan was to stick on that track till we found a better option. We knew if we got distracted by all the other tracks we would lose focus and get ourselves into serious trouble. So we back tracked, found the vehicle track and then followed it. There were plenty of other tracks leading off the vehicle track but we never felt it was a better option to the one we were on. After a few hours of hiking we eventually spotted a village two valleys away and then on the other side a road. Now this was a better option that the track we were on and started moving towards the village.

After 60 kilometres of hiking taking us 12 hours we finally made it to the road. What an adventure and a great lesson! It is critical in those situations that you come up with a game plan and stick with it till a better plan emerges. In business and life we find it easy to become distracted by lots of outside influences and all this distraction does is slow our progress. So ensure that you have created your game plan and stick to it till a better plan emerges. Keep the blinkers for other opportunities off but keep the focus on the end plan right in front of you.

Originally published at tetrakey.com on April 13, 2017.