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Finding Carel...

Posted on July 23 2017

Carel Nolte Dead Reckoning

One of the reasons I love Dead Reckoning (and there are many!) is that the name reminds me often that direction in life is important.

If you didn't know, "Dead Reckoning is the process of calculating one's current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and course."

Life, however, is often so manic that I find it difficult to remember anything - not a current, previous or desired future position! Interestingly enough, many of my friends think that I am very focused and have a lot of direction and I thought it would be useful to share a few thoughts on why that may be:

1. Don't expect perfection

I learnt long ago not to expect perfection - from myself, or anyone else. That doesn't mean that I don't set very high standards for myself and those around me (I do!) but it does mean that I don't judge when those standards aren’t met. In other words, I keep perspective and know that it is in the trying, the journey that success lies, not always the outcome;

2. Nobody has direction

Nobody has direction! Yep, as much as you think that the grass is greener on the other side or that John, Mildred or Thabo has more direction, know that all of us are affected by daily events that we cannot control. And often these events are hugely positive and one must remain open to the opportunities they present. I use the analogy of an arrow versus a funnel, often. Rather than seeing your trajectory straight as an arrow, see that you are moving in the direction of a funnel and that to get to the tip you can move within the boundaries, sucking up opportunities along the way;

3. Give yourself credit

Look back and give yourself credit. When times are tough and all sense of direction is lost, look back over the span of your life and notice the periods where you were cooking – we all have those! And know that, as unlikely as it may seem in that moment, direction and purpose is once again around the corner.

4. Keep Moving Forward

Take two steps forward, three back, one forward, two forward – but always keep moving forward, no matter how small your steps and how slow your pace. Life is a long road and the race is only against yourself.

5. Take what you do seriously, not yourself

Take what you do seriously, not yourself – and laugh, often (especially at yourself). Trying to make your way in the world, finding your direction, is so much easier with a smile on your face!

6. Be brave!

Be brave. In the 1500s the New World was disocvered. Thousands of lives were lost as brave (mad?!) men set sail for years on end, not knowing where food and water would come from or whether they would fall off the earth! But these explorers proved that the earth is round and opened up routes many thought would never exist - imagine if they had been scared?!

7. Trust in your crew

Trust in the (DeadReck) crew! You need family and friends – the people who know you best – to correct you when you veer off path. Alone one can often lose direction. With caring, loving, supportive (and challenging!) loved ones, you’ll always find the right path.


Enjoy traveling the paths less travelled, the seas less sailed and keep me posted on where you end up. Who knows, I may join you?!



1 comment

  • Bonnie Currin: July 24, 2017

    Great Blog! I resonate with many of your tips, particularly having a crew, being brave and don’t expect perfection as it will affect productivity, deemed success, stress, relationships – as long as you have done and provided your best…

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