The other day I was driving to a new client location about two hours from my home. Since I was unfamiliar with the area, I programmed the address into my GPS navigation system. Just before I got to my intended exit a great song came on the radio so of course I cranked up the volume really loud, started singing along, and I found myself completely distracted from the task at hand. As you can probably guess by now, I missed my exit.
If you’ve ever done this before you probably know what happens next. My negative self-talk took control sounding a bit like this- “I Can’t believe I’ve done this!” “How Stupid of me!” “Other people aren’t like this!” “Why do I always do things like this?” and a lot of other colorful words and phrases that I won’t share in this article.
As I turned down the radio, I noticed a very calm voice gently stating to me- “rerouting” -It was the GPS lady. All these years, I’ve never really noticed the calmness of her digital voice. In the anger and frustration of missing my intended destination, I have to tell you that this sense of calm and ease was exactly what I needed. She just kept stating over and over again without anger or judgement that she was Rerouting the path to my final destination.
I got off at the next exit and received my new driving instructions and calmly proceeded to the client’s location. This new route took me through an old historic part of town where I was able to view some spectacular old homes and buildings which made me wonder what this place must have been like at the turn of the 20th century.
As I parked the car at my final destination, I realized that I’d just been given my first lesson from Artificial intelligence. Probably the first of many in the coming years.
One thing I know for certain is that the road to success isn’t a straight line. We are going to make wrong turns on the journey to our intended goals and outcomes. Even when the destination is clearly marked and we know exactly where we are supposed to go, our daily distractions and this thing called life can cause us to veer off course.
When we make those wrong turns, or bad decisions we have a choice. Beat ourselves up, get angry or frustrated, be judgmental, recycle our negative self-talk, and essentially guarantee that we will move further away from our intended destination. Or we can simply accept that a mistake was made, that we veered off course and that our first plan no matter how well thought out, is going to get adjusted in order to keep moving forward.
Sometimes these wrong turns can take us places that we never would have gone, and the new route or destination is actually much better than the one we were originally planning for. These mistakes can open up doors that we never would have passed through had we taken our intended path. History is filled with success stories that started out with a mis-step or two. Surely we can forgive ourselves when we make those errors or lapses in judgement.
Most importantly we can choose to learn the valuable lessons offered up during these inevitable mis-calculations and apply them in the future. Then calmly and gently without judgment or blame, go about our business of getting off at the next exit, and Reroute the journey to continue down the path to our final goals.
Ask yourself this week:
Where have I made some errors or wrong turns recently?
How did I respond when those occurred?
What adjustments and course corrections have I made to get back on course?
How am I going to reroute my journey to get to my final destination?
Thoughts for the week:
Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn in the right direction. Unknown
There are no wrong turns only unexpected paths. – Mark Nepo
We are not retreating we are advancing in another direction. -Douglas Macarthur
Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. -Drake
You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight. –Jim Rohn
Your direction is more important than your speed. –Richard Evans
Please post your best success story as a result of your wrong turn!
Looking forward to our next connection