Lessons from a GPS

In just a few years the GPS has gone from being the preserve of the few to commonplace.  In this short article I draw some lessons from the GPS that could  apply to life. For purposes of this article GPS refers to the automotive navigation system or the receivers integrated in mobile phones.

1) DESTINATION –  The most sophisticated GPS will not be of any help if you have no idea or clue of where you want to go.  You need to have an idea of where you are going before you look for the road to you there.  If you have no idea where you are going, any road will take you there.  Brilliant or elaborate plans and ideas are of no use if they are not aligned to a purpose, vision and destination. Where do you want to go?  We cannot worry about the route before we know where we want to go?

COST – You will get the directions you need to arrive at your venue but there is no obligation or cost to actually follow any of them. We constantly receive guidance from friends, colleagues and family in life and it is all for free. Can you imagine being charged for advice by friends.  Then again think of the life changing impact of the guidance we have received over the years.

COMPARE & CONTRAST – More often that not there will be more than one route to get to your destination. There is always more than one way of doing something.  Choose the route that suits your situation.  On any given situation we are likely to guidance that will vary in scope and perspective. Compare and contrast and possibly come up with a hybrid solution which brings the best of the guidance you have received.

DISCOVER! – Go beyond the obvious and outside your comfort zones to the new things that await your discovery.  Sometimes there is more and better outside the tried and trusted.  Don’t be afraid to get lost a little because no matter what you will find your way sooner or later. Take calculated risks. Take a new turn and see if you come out on the main route as you expected.

SAVE THE ROUTE – When a route gets you to the destination save it. Reflect on the experiences in your life and learn from them. They are preparing you for the bigger challenges ahead. In future times these will be points of reference for you. The wounds of your struggles may heal leaving behind the scars but do not forget the lessons.

ADAPT – A new destination will need a new route. You cannot use an old route for a new destination.  We have to adapt to the changing situations. Today challenges will demand today’s thinking, today’s perspective and today’s reasoning. Are we ready to adapt and not only survive but thrive?

LEARN – The first time you take the route it’s a new experience and you have to follow every turn. The second time you can possibly do it with less guidance than before. A few more times and you don’t need the GPS for that specific route. Master the situations in life and learn through the insights and experiences of others. It’s fine to get lost but at the same place each time. We need to move on to a higher level each time.

MARK DISTANCE AND PROGRESS – The GPS gives an indication of the distance left to the destination as well as the expected time of arrival. We are able to keep track of our progress. Are you keeping track of your progress towards your goals? Do you know how much more time you need to get there, to achieve your goals and fulfil your purpose.

UNEXPECTED TURNS – Always expect the unexpected. Sometimes during the route the GPS could instruct you to make a turn where none exists. Sometimes there are roadworks which make it possible to follow the recommended route. You have to take the new route. Things will not always turn out as expected in life. Do you despair and give up altogether or readjust your bearings and get going once more even if it means a change of plans. BTM

(The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a U.S. space-based global navigation satellite system. It provides reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services to worldwide users on a continuous basis in all weather, day and night, anywhere on or near the Earth which has an unobstructed view of four or more GPS satellites.  – Source  – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS)

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