Wilderness Echo

How wildlife tracking skills relate to everyday business

Think back to the last time you felt a breakthrough close at hand. Perhaps you’d been working on converting a client for months. Maybe you’d launched a new offer you were incredibly excited to see in the market.

Reaching that point took focus. Work. Intention. It required cutting out the clamour around you and zeroing in on information that made all the difference in making it to the finish line.

Did you feel a sense of achievement? Satisfaction? Connectedness to your work?

While relating wildlife tracking skills to everyday business may seem unusual, so much of what takes place in these environments ties back to the way we navigate our lives, ambitions, achievements and outcomes.


Wildlife Tracking in Southern Africa

My colleagues Alex van den Heever and Renias Mhlongo – expert trackers in their own right – recently visited the Ju/’hoansi people of northern Botswana. The Ju/’hoansi people have lived in Southern Africa for hundreds of thousands of years. For the Ju/’hoansi, wildlife tracking provides a framework for how to live. It creates purpose in their everyday rhythms while shaping their relationship with nature and with each other.

Tracking requires complete immersion in nature’s complex and ever-changing world. In this environment, trackers must foster a mindset that’s attentive, aware, open and curious. The animals they track are wild and cannot be controlled – because of this, they’re often working with incomplete information.

Trackers follow a logical process that begins with finding the right track, evaluating the information they do have on hand, closing the gap – invariably regaining a lost trail – before finally having an encounter.

The tracker draws on both a rational and creative capacity to determine what the animal did and where it’s headed. The animal’s signs, habitats, relationships with other species and even its individual personality – all of this data must be observed. Nothing is viewed in isolation. For them, everything is connected.


Tracking in everyday business

Most of us have probably never tracked a wild animal in our lives. However, every morning, as we wake up, we begin to track the things that matter to us. Our health. Our happiness. Our wealth. Our moods, the moods of those around us, and the information we receive through interpersonal interactions. We do this without conscious choice, keeping track of the data we need in order to continue to make our way through the day.

The problem? There’s far too much noise, too much data, and not enough clarity about what it is that truly matters for us to pay attention to. We lack clarity on what may move the needle in our lives when we’re bombarded with information about transient things that simply don’t matter in another hour.

Once we learn to track with intention and to filter, we stand to adopt the characteristics of a Ju/’hoansi tracker: we are present, aware, open and curious. It’s in these spaces where we may catch a glimpse of our target, achieving goals we had only dreamed of.

Tracking isn’t only an ancient African practice. It’s a powerful metaphor that allows us to pay attention, to cut the noise, and to find our way towards success in a chaotic modern world.

Come track with us. Immerse yourself in a different world in order to truly see yourself. Join Tracking Success on our virtual tour, and discover how tracking skills can help reach your next business breakthrough.

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