Getting Lost Can Help You Find Your Way

by: Joanne Meehl

Recently I was using my car's GPS system to get to an appointment in a part of Minneapolis I still don't know well. AlI was going fine when my GPS told me to take the next right. Problem was, it was a one-way street coming toward me, not away.

What to do? After a second of panic, I realized that since traffic wasn't heavy, and I had a pile of maps with me, that I could punt without the help of electronics. So I took the next right instead, expecting that I'd have to pull over and check the map or even circle around somehow. But I just kept going. I had to take a few more turns to get where I needed to be, and found my way, but along the way, I looked off to the side to discover that I was right by the exit ramp to the highway I usually take back to the office from here. I'd discovered a better route than the one I'd taken many times before. Which also meant I'd found a better way to get to this destination.

All because the direction of the street had changed before the GPS database could be updated.

It's really the same with careers and jobs. We get blocked from what "should" be the next step in our career, by the perfect job that goes to someone else. And we panic: will we ever attain that goal? Well, maybe you're supposed to take a different route than you expected, to reach a different goal than you'd chosen. And you just don't know it yet.

It's been said that life presents us with the same lessons over and over again until we learn them. The person who sees repeated career obstructions as a personal plot against him to reach a chosen goal may miss a fabulous new career path, one that fits better. Another person who won't let go of a stale job in a dying field is yet another example of a person who won't look off to the side to see something that might be more fulfilling and with more future. Keep your eyes open to these pointers telling you, "Check out this other thing". Is it time for you to be open to change? Have you been missing the lessons meant for you?

Consider getting lost what it might really be: a gift. It just may get you to a better place.


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