Not knowing what to do is fine

A few weeks ago I was flying back to London after visiting my son in Canada and thanks to a following wind the plane got to Heathrow early and was put in a holding pattern over London.

It was a bright sunny morning and we had a spectacular tour of the famous London landmarks: Tower bridge, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, the Shard, the Gherkin and more, but what was more fascinating was the tiny details of rows of houses, gardens, people playing football, walking dogs, washing cars.

We did the circuit three or four times, noticing new things each time, and were in no hurry to get down onto the runway.

Eventually we were directed into the stream of traffic to take our allocated slot by people who could see the big picture of the busiest airport in the world. I liked the idea that they knew exactly where the plane fitted in but we were all going out to fit into the tinier slots of our own streets and homes and we didn’t need to be directed there.

We knew where we fitted in.

What I’m seeing right now is a lot of people and businesses in a holding pattern.

We’re circling, noticing that some things look the same and some are very different and we’re not so sure where we fit in any more.

The world has changed.

Nobody can see the big picture yet. There are no clearly defined slots to fit in to.

Some people are signalling, suggesting we land here to do some marketing, or go over there and re-write our plans, maybe do some work for free to expand our client base, or pay them to do some advertising for us “in these troubled times”.

But nobody can see the big picture yet.

Nobody knows where its best to land.

So the best thing to do is stick to the holding pattern – keep noticing the landmarks that don’t change and the tiny details that do until you get a clear view of where you want to land and what you want to do.

Our most important job right now is to stay safe, reserve our energy, and not be rushed into anything.

The world is still changing and its OK if you don’t know what to do and where you fit in.

There’ll be a time for that, but its not now.


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  1. […] Nearly two months ago I wrote this post about trying to figure out where our place in the world is when the whole world has changed “Not Knowing What to do is Fine” […]

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