Before the turn of the century, drivers relied on old-fashioned paper maps (remember those?) to find their way to a desired destination.
Before reliable map technology existed, our ancestors simply headed in a direction and hoped for the best (think Lewis and Clark).
These days, we can be far more accurate. Many cars are fitted with a GPS navigation system to tell us exactly how to reach our destination, step by step.
The mobile devices in most of our pockets can guide us via Google Maps, Waze and Apple’s iPhone Navigation. Once we plug in a clear-cut end point, these systems instruct us on every turn, even course-correcting if we get off path.
If we enter a vague destination, however, these handy GPS systems’ value evaporates. The looser the end point, the worse the directions. If you got in your car and just started driving with no direction in mind, you’d most likely end up far from your desired location.
Yet, many of us do the same thing with our own careers, families, and communities. We cruise through life without defining desired outcomes or forging clear-cut routes to specific destinations.
In the same way a hapless driver easily gets lost, we do the same without locking in our goals and objectives. It’s easy to look back with regret at unfulfilled dreams, but very often the problem isn’t the lack of talent or resources but the lack of a specific path and target.
As you ponder the coming weeks and months, what specific destinations have you locked in on your own internal GPS? Are they conflicting or congruent? As you review your map, does it efficiently guide you from your starting point to the desired end point, or does it weave in and out, wasting time and causing road wear?
The great news for us all is we have incredibly powerful GPS systems inside us. However, they are not auto-guided and need you to enter specific destination coordinates. Once you do that, your route becomes clear and your target becomes attainable. Drive purposefully down that path, and you’ll arrive even faster than Google Maps could advise.