How To Change Course Even If You Think You Can’t!

It’s Never Too Late

Taking a Sextant Reading

Using a Sextant by anoldent on Flickr

Do you feel like you are a passenger on a roller coaster through life? Are there ups and downs and some thrills, but you have no control over the ride? Do you ever feel like George Jetson on his treadmill yelling, “Jane, stop this crazy thing!”?

While it may feel this way at times, life really isn’t a ride that we are strapped in to. We do have the ability to get on or off a particular track should we decide to.

It Ain’t Easy

I’m not saying that it is easy to make significant changes in your life, however, there is always the option to make changes. They may need to be small changes to start with but that is okay.

Small changes early on can lead to big differences in the destination on a long journey. Just ask someone who has sailed a long distance.

Being just a single degree off course can mean completely missing their destination. This also means that making small changes as early as possible in your journey can end up having significant impact in your life.

It’s never too late to change course

While small changes early in a journey can have big impacts, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes later along the path. Much like compound interest works in your favor if you invested early in life, that isn’t the only way to save for the future.

If you are like me and are getting a late start in changing your course, you may have to make larger more drastic changes to get to your desired destination. This is okay. If you are older, you should be more mature and able to handle change in bigger doses.

The real challenge comes in overcoming what I call momentum. The habits and patterns that you have developed over the years that make your current course so comfortable will work against you when you try and change course. The longer you have been on the same course, the more momentum you will have to overcome in order to head towards a new destination.

Don’t let this discourage you though! You can use this to your benefit once you are on the right track. As you change course, let that momentum build in the right direction and help carry you to where you want to be.

Know your destination

One of the key points of navigation is to always know where you are and where you want to go. Without these two key pieces of information, you are not on a journey. You are just wandering.

There is nothing wrong with wandering if that is your goal. However, if you are trying to get to a specific destination, wandering is almost certainly not going to get you there.

If you’ve read this far, I suspect that you have a good idea that where you are headed right now is not where you would most like to end up.

So, take the time to first determine what destination you would like to arrive at.

How is this different than where you are currently headed? Is this new destination going to require a small or large course correction? Do you currently have what you need to get you to the new destination? If not, what are you lacking? How can you fill the gaps and get the provisions that you need to ensure that you can reach your new destination?

Always keep your compass

As you travel on this journey, it is vital to always keep your compass. If you ever find yourself lost, you need to have a way to orient yourself to the landscape around you so you can get back to the business of moving towards your destination.

Without this ability, you are back to wandering and will not make it to your destination.

In sailing the open ocean ancient navigators could use a tool called a sextant to determine their current location on the earth. However, even knowing where they are, without a compass a ship would still be lost because they would not know what direction to go in to get to their destination.

In our journey through life our compass can be the wise words of a loved one or a trusted mentor. It could be a religious leader’s guidance or something as simple as a written list of goals. Use what ever it takes to keep yourself on track and keep from wandering.

Enjoy the Journey

There is an old saying that tells us that getting there is half the fun. The older I get the more I think I understand this. When we’re young we are all about the destination.

“Are we there yet?” is a universal question of youth. For a child, the hours between bed time on Christmas Eve and waking on Christmas morning are longer than the days between New Years and Thanksgiving.

As we get older we are able to enjoy the journey more and more. We start to appreciate the views as they change with the passing landscape. Each turn provides a new view, a new perspective.

We start to see how we are changed by the passing milestones. We live in a time of instant gratification where waiting five minutes for our dinner to warm up in the microwave seems like an eternity. Yet, if we allow ourselves to slow down, to change our expectations a little bit, we can learn to enjoy the journey as it happens.

Appreciate the change that is growing in you as you change your course. Know that not all the change is happening around you. Some of it is happening within you. That is ultimately what will be the biggest reward of changing your course.

We are the Captains of our Destiny

At times it may feel like we are just along for the ride and life is taking us where ever it wants to. If we are not careful and thoughtful with our time and energy this may just be what happens. If, however, we decide to take the helm and change our course we can decide where we are going and how we will get there.

It is never too late to change course. Don’t let society dictate where you are going or how you will get there.


Be your own captain. Set your own course.


1. Know that where ever you are at, it is not too late to change your course if you don’t like where you are headed.

2. Determine if you want to choose a new destination.

3. Set your compass. Figure out how you need to change your course and write down the changes you need to make.

4. Celebrate the changes as they happen. Understand that it is you that is changing and this is the ultimate purpose for the change.



Leave a comment letting us know where your new course is taking you.




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