Have you seen that famous photograph of Jean Guichard’s where a giant wave looks like it’s about to engulf a lighthouse? 

In the photo, Jean catches a uniquely timed image of the lighthouse keeper, Théodore Malgorne, seemingly stepping out for some fresh air. Actually, he was not. He was awaiting a rescue from the life-threatening storm in 1989.  He and his colleagues had to take refuge in the lighthouse tower after waves the night before had smashed through the lower windows of the tower, causing the structure to flood and washing away everything in its path, including the television, table, chairs, coffee maker and even the refrigerator.  When Théodore heard the helicopter, he stepped out, anticipating rescue. But it was Jean Guichard who was there to snap the timely shot just before another massive wave hit. The keeper made it inside just in time, the lighthouse held, and Jean Guichard got his award winning photograph.

Thankfully the rescuers did arrive, and everyone was brought to safety.  I don’t know what eventually happened to the lighthouse, though my guess is that it is still there, like many others, holding true to their place against nature’s fury.  Some give, but most don’t. And that might make a good metaphor for our time management philosophy moving forward.

Imagine that level of steadfastness applied to our plans, strategies and priorities– plans for our business or career, our health, our relationships, our finances.  You’ve heard it before, “plan your work and work your plan”.  It’s the “working your plan” that gets most of us. We plan to; we intend to; we sometimes even want to – but the waves get in the way.  Some are self-inflicted waves and others are not.  Either way, they’re waves and they’ll destroy our plans, unless we hold firm like that lighthouse did.  

What do you have planned this year? What priorities need your undivided attention? What strategic elements of your life and work are being neglected?

Let’s make our plans, with purpose and vision in mind, then protect those plans much like the lighthouse did for the Keepers amidst the nasty storm.  Imagine what we’ll get done. Imagine our progress. Imagine our sense of confidence and fulfillment – actually doing exactly what we said we’d do.

Be the lighthouse. Be steadfast in your plans. That’s personal integrity. And that’s worth it.