We have become accustomed to technological assistance in so many areas of life, but perhaps the greatest one for those of us who are direction-ally challenged is GPS. Whether GPS is installed in our car, is a separate device or we use our phone it has the amazing power to get us where we are going. In the old days we really needed a “navigator” who held the map and tried to give the driver directions. Under the best of circumstances, it was challenging and often extremely stressful.
Technology allows GPS to know where we are and when we tell it where we want to go and it will calculate the route. It may offer a different route if traffic on our preferred route is blocked due to an accident. If we miss a turn it automatically recalculates our route with new directions. If we miss our freeway exit it may simply take us off the next exit and then give us directions to back track on surface roads to get us to our destination. If we miss a turn it will tell us to make a U-turn as soon as we can safely do so, and then it gives us updated directions.
The most amazing thing is that it stays focused on our destination and regardless of what happens along the way it will automatically update the direction we need to go in to get us to our designated destination. It doesn’t give up after we make three wrong turns, or five wrong turns or even seven wrong turns or more. It patiently stays focused on getting us where we are going. Because it is technology, it doesn’t get impatient or become overwhelmed.
The obvious question is how do we apply the principles of GPS for life. Just like GPS has to know where we are in order to plot a course to where we are going, it starts by us clearly identifying where we are at in a particular area of our life. Next we identify where we are intending to go. Just like GPS may identify an obstacle ahead like an accident and reroute us to avoid that, we need to anticipate obstacles we may encounter and plan for how we can reroute our path if they occur.
Life happens. We are going to take a wrong turn that will divert us from our destination. GPS immediately alerts us when we make a wrong turn and tells us exactly what we need to do to get back on track. With a daily action plan and daily accountability, we alert ourselves every time we make a wrong turn and we will know what we need to do to get back on track.
The big difference is that GPS patiently redirects us every time we make a wrong turn. As human beings, we tend to become impatient with ourselves. The negative self-talk …. “I knew you couldn’t do it” etc. screams loudly in the back of our head. Can you imagine GPS shouting “You are so stupid! How could you have missed that turn? It was right there and I was telling you to turn.” If it did, we would probably throw our phone out of the window or disable the GPS. We would consider it unacceptable for technology to be rude and judgmental.
Yet we do the same thing to ourselves all the time and don’t think a thing about it. It makes no sense. Just as we would shut down GPS under those circumstances it is time to shut down those voices and have the same patience and willingness to redirect our path towards our ultimate destination that GPS has.
Watch for my next blogs on GPS Actions Plans, GPS Accountability Strategies and Shutting Down the Voices