Have you ever been aimlessly lost? Figuratively or literally, it is very frustrating. But then 2-3 landmarks line up and suddenly you have your bearings straight and you’re back on course.
As mentioned yesterday, I’m in Philadelphia. I’m not much of a City boy, I live in the country and when I have gone to NYC, LA, or other locations, I usually have a plan in advance on where to park and what to see.
Yesterday, however, I flew more by the seat of my pants. I left the city for a few hours to conduct a site visit of one of our companies, and when I came back in to town, I wanted to meet up with a friend, so I hastily parked in a garage, and headed out.
I did two things right that I thought would save me. I took the parking stub with me, and when I exited the garage, I “dropped a pin” on Google Maps so I could hopefully easily find the place at the end of the evening.
I wandered through streets to the Convention Center (GPS currently isn’t very reliable on the iPhone when surrounded by high buildings), met up with my friend, and we had the best bar-b-que ribs I’ve had in a very long time.
After dinner I looked on my phone and saw where the pin dropped. It looked like .6 miles and so we decided to walk off desert.
I’ll spare you the turn-by-turn details but sum up the experience – two hours of walking about and finally disturbing a Police Officer during his McDonald’s dinner finally got us where we needed to be going.
I’m not sure where Google Maps failed me, but the dropped pin was 8 blocks from where it needed to be.
The parking stub address led us to an open field next to the University Hospital and no one was answering the phone number printed on the bottom. I had put my faith into two landmarks, neither of which were very helpful. The only saving grace was that the Police Officer knew the name of the garage and which street to enter it on.
It reminded me of life. We rush through experiences, rush through appointments, try to rush our children through growing up.
Had I taken a minute after leaving the garage to look around, take several photos on my phone of my surroundings, and not relied on GPS, but written down the cross streets, getting the car later would have been easy.
My friend was very tired, but good natured and kept everything calm. He has been a mentor for many years and has much wisdom to share. Both in shaping my career, learning, and last night in helping me find my direction.
What steps do you take to keep from getting lost? When lost, what steps do you take to regain your bearings and get back on track?
I’ve found a process of constantly learning to be very beneficial. Little bits of information learned begin to define a pathway. It takes a lot of patience, because at first the path is not obvious. But piece-by-piece, the puzzle begins to take shape and logic begins to settle.
Today I am seeing my career clearer than ever and how to pursue my passion much better defined. It didn’t happen overnight. It happened after continual investments and small deposits of success. And I still have miles to go before I sleep.
If you are aimlessly lost, I hope you have a trusted mentor, coach, and friend to help you realign priorities and get back onto track. If not, today is a good day to start to look for a good career coach, therapist, friend, mentor, and advisor. It may be rolled up into one person, but more likely will be multiple people.
Your own Board of Directors for You Inc.
What are your Learn Act Share moments?