This morning I was taking my dog Bella out for a walk and came down this wooden pathway that I have taken so many times before. But this time something struck me. A branch was hanging down over the path, torn down from last night’s rain and blocking view of the path ahead. As I got closer I could see my way around the corner but from a distance it looked like the path was completely closed off. It reminded me of the headlight strategy I write about in my second book that I’m currently working on.

The headlight strategy is all about staying present and focusing on the limited view of the path ahead. You are driving at night with only a car’s headlights to illuminate the path. So even though we may know we are driving, for instance, from Boston to San Francisco, a path over 3,000 miles, we can only see 30 yards ahead of us. With this in mind, the strategy is intended to help keep us present to what is, to check in with how we are feeling in the moment, and focus on the road we are on. We decide if and how we want to respond to signposts we see.

So often I get ahead of myself, thinking further down the road than I really need to be, and missing precious moments of what is happening right now. When these are good thoughts, like thinking about a wonderful coaching conversation or an upcoming vacation, life is good and I feel happy and excited. Alternatively, when I get stressed I can pinpoint it to those moments where I am thinking ahead and not thinking my best, creating problems that haven’t even happened yet, or anticipating something worse than my reality would truly project.

Where would you try out the headlight strategy? How might it help you?