Trust Your Gut: Finding Beauty in the Fog

Warwick Fairfax

April 5, 2019

I was walking on Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida, a few weeks ago — the day before we were to return to Maryland. Siesta Key Beach is rated as one of the top beaches in the US, but today it was shrouded in fog. You could barely see 100 yards in front of you, out to the Gulf or inland to the condos lining the beach. The fog was so dense that you could feel the moisture on your skin.

The fog made me think of vision. Having your vision become reality is like walking on the beach in a dense fog. You have this sense that you are going in the right direction, but you rarely see your exact goal in the distance. Your goals and vision may evolve and change over time as you keep heading forward. It’s much like Walt Disney’s vision of animated cartoons telling stories that later evolved into color feature-length films like Snow White and, ultimately, into theme parks like Disneyland.

Cognitively, you have this sense you are going in the right direction because your vision lines up with your beliefs and your aptitude. Your vision may well have come out of a crucible experience that makes you want to make a difference, perhaps so that other people won’t go through what you went through. But in your gut, you know this just makes sense. It is the right thing for you to do. You are on the right path.

To me the fog is beautiful. If there was no fog, we could see our goals and vision clearly and no faith would be required. People of faith think of the verse in Hebrews that says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” More broadly, we believe there is a plan and that somehow what we have been through is going to help others, or just simply that our lives will count for something.

So, we keep going, one step at a time, through the fog — not quite sure where we will end up, but confident that we are going down the right path. Sometimes, as we reach our goal or perhaps a key milestone, we see something unexpected. In this case, as I reached the end of the beach I saw this bush with shells hung on the branches. I have walked to this end of the beach many times before, but I don’t remember seeing shells on the bush. Perhaps it was always there, and I did not notice. Or perhaps it just came there during the mystery of the fog.

Crucible Leadership, Warwick Fairfax, Inspiration, Leadership, Coaching, Leading a Life of Significance

Reflection

  • Reflect on the vision you have.  Spend five minutes and write down the vision that you feel is pushing you forward.

  • How much do your trust your vision and the path that is unfolding?  

  • Assuming you do believe you are on the right path, how can you keep trusting the process?  Who can you talk to that can encourage you to stay the course?

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