Vail Daily column: Things are looking up |

Vail Daily column: Things are looking up

Michael Norton
Climbing to Success

While working in Houston this past week I found myself breaking one of my own rules — I caught myself looking down instead of up.

I was visiting a client and their building was located in a beautiful part of town and was part of a very large corporate and retail complex. Because I arrived early, I had the taxi driver drop me off at The Westin hotel, which was right in the complex, so that I could take a call and work from their lobby before going to my meeting.

When I left the hotel and walked to the building where I would meet with my clients, I became turned around and ended up walking in circles trying to find the right entrance to where my meetings were being held. And by the time I was ready to leave at the end of the day I had completely lost my sense of direction. My internal GPS experienced a malfunction. Again, I was walking around with my head down and looking at the offices and store fronts trying to get my bearings. The result was that I once again traveled in a circle and wound up right where I started.

As I lifted my head and my eyes toward the sky, I saw the giant Westin hotel standing right in front of me. All I had to do was look up.

And isn’t that just the case sometimes for all of us? I mean we get so focused on a problem or situation we find ourselves staring down or only looking for solutions that are immediately in our view. We get trapped going in circles trying to solve the same problem, circling the airport and never landing. We get confused and maybe even frustrated or lost. When all we have to do is to look up.

Looking up for some people can be very hard. And for others looking up can have different meanings. Some may interpret looking up as staying positive, optimistic, upbeat and motivated. They may have dealt with a problem or situation and resolved things in a very positive manner so they see things as “looking up.” Or maybe some of us just see the potential for a turn-around. We see a light at the end of our tunnel so we may say, ‘Things are looking up.”

Now there are also some of us who will say looking up has a much deeper and more spiritual meaning. They may believe that when trouble surrounds them or if they are confused, lost or frustrated that all they have to do is look up towards heaven to find the answers they seek. For me personally that is my belief, although I must admit that sometimes I get so caught up in the situation or problem that I try to fix it on my own or muscle my way through it just as I did in Houston earlier this week. Whereas had I practiced what I teach, I would have been looking up and would have seen my destination very clearly.

How about you? Are things looking up? Are you looking up? I would love to hear all about it at gotonorton, and when we stop looking down and start looking up it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, motivational speaker and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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