I came across this wonderful phrase recently and at the same time I was exploring the wilderness in my home country and I saw loads of driftwood the fjords and bays where I was hiking. I couldn't help thinking about where they came from and what their story was. I then started to think why they ended up exactly there, how they had traveled and if this was the destination they would have chosen. I realized I was comparing the driftwood to persons in life and got even more intrigued by the idea of drifting.
A good definition is: "Drift is the decision you make by not deciding, or by making a decision that unleashes consequences for which you don’t take responsibility."
Maybe you're not sure what to do, so you make the default decision. Maybe a particular decision would make someone else very happy, so you do it, but you are not weighing in your personal desire or needs. Just taking one drifting step can you set you in a course that’s very hard to stop.
Some situations look like drift but aren’t. You may need to choose between multiple courses, with their pros and cons, and you're still deciding. This isn’t drift, because you’re actively weighing your options. However, if this goes on too long, it can become drift.
The word “drift” has overtones of laziness or ease. Or what? For me, it means floating without making a decision where to end up and what to experience. It has the notion of being something easy, but it's not and furthermore unhealthy for the timespan of your life.
When life is racing forward, and the outlook is somewhat blurry, it's hard to step back to consider the big picture. For many people, the disruptions of the last year have also brought an opportunity for self-reflection. Sometimes a difficult one.
Hoping that a situation will be shaken up from the outside, from untouchable forces that you have no control over is a sign of drift.
So, are you driftwood?
To end drift, we must recognize that we're drifting. It can be painful to contemplate, but valuable. If your aviation career has suffered and due to the pandemic, take advantage of the moment to think about what steps would help you to create the life you want.