Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What I Learned from a GPS

We just returned from a 3000 mile driving vacation where we relied on a GPS to get us to our various stopping points along the way.

The Magellan we used only contained maps of the United States and part of our trip was in Canada, so we learned our first lesson when we crossed the border in Detroit: Make sure your GPS actually contains maps to your destination! :)

In real life, we sometimes change directions. Sometimes, we intentionally veer from the course we know is right, and sometimes, we just make mistakes.

The GPS' second lesson comes from taking a wrong turn: "Recalculating route!" That is all there is to it. Not, "Hey, you screwed up; you went the wrong way; you failed!" None of that. Just, "Recalculating route," i.e., how do we get to our destination from where we are now?

I love my GPS. She never shouts at me and never tells me I messed up. She just lets me know she will help me recover my direction. "Recalculating route!"

What else can you do, anyway, when something tragic happens in your life, or you make poor choices that mess up your life and the lives of those around you? I have tried the guilt trip. It doesn't work. My GPS tells me, "Recalculating route," i.e., remember your destination, remember your goal, and figure out how to get there from where you are, now. Nothing else will propel you to where you should be.

Recalculate your route, and get on with the trip.