I washed my last bite of my Styrofoam tasting Ezekiel bread down with my piping hot black coffee and smiled as I saw the message from my pal and guru Steve. We check in with each other almost every morning during our “Hour of Champions” where we jump into what we call “Early Morning Excellence” – getting our thoughts and mindset in check for the day and quite honestly – for life. Steve and the HOC family he created has given me direction and connections along with a map of how to continue on the road from victim to hero. This morning we said, “Sometimes there is no GPS for what we are going through”. I thought of this as I drove into work. I didn’t need directions this morning because I knew where I was headed. There are other days and time though when I need my GPS to get me to point B – both literally and figuratively.
If you’ve read my past blogs, you know that I was born without a sense of direction. This Kiki model did not come with a built-in compass. I’ve always been in awe of the folks who could be plopped in the middle of a labyrinth and they will emerge victorious. I cannot find my way out of my own house some mornings let alone a complex trip of driving out east on Long Island or shutter the thought of navigating through New York City.
I’ve never been good with “You know where it is – it’s across from the mall. It’s the building on the north side of the park”. You might as well tell me to visit the moon. I’m lost. Clueless even. Years ago, when GPS was invented, I thought “Well yahoo there’s hope for me yet”. Not so fast. I don’t trust the turn by turn instructions even from trusted sources such as OnStar. If the turn says, “Make a left” in 250 feet, I will sometimes make the left at the next light thinking “close enough”. No Kiki, they are giving you almost exact measurements. Follow them. I am guilty of creating my own snafu and deserve the endless wrong turns and feelings of helplessness.
On this morning’s drive in my thought drifts back to my HOC conversation about using our inner GPS. My life’s inner GPS is driven by my gut feelings. They rarely lie. If you have never listened to your gut – I welcome you to do so. Put your ear down to the ground and listen to the vibrations (you don’t really need to do this. Frankly you’ll be run over or your neighbors will talk about you even more than they do now). You do need to pay attention though. There are signs on your journey or road that may or may not be on your GPS. The gut feelings that tell you to go for it or avoid things ahead do not steer you wrong. They keep you on your course and get you where you need to go or meet your goals. This is if you choose to listen or trust them. If your system says turn left or I don’t think this is the right time to take this position – listen. I don’t care how big the signal is. Listen.
What I have learned quickly through using GPS is that it will recalculate for you if you make a wrong turn or leave the planned route. It’s kind of like a do-over when traveling. I realized we have a recalculate option in our lives too. If we veer off our path, we always have the option to jump back on Goal Boulevard. Maybe you won’t take the express route and choose the route with no toll roads (like me some days) but you will get there if you listen to the directions.
When I got to work this morning, I was giggling thinking of the GPS and the many funny stories it has given me throughout the years. See I can find humor in my mistakes and disasters. Sometimes many years after the fact but I can giggle at myself. One year we were traveling in Boston. The TomTom navigation system had just been invented. I don’t think the software was more than 6 months old. We drove over a bridge with two hungry kids in the back seat. We might as well have been in a foreign country because we understood nothing. Nothing looked familiar. I remember glancing at TomTom’s screen, and it was literally spinning. It might as well have stated “Just park the car and go home”. It gave up. We didn’t though…we figured it out and 20 minutes later we were loving life and eating Brick Oven pizza in the oldest Italian restaurant on the East Coast. I knew that if I had just looked at the map ahead of time I would at least have a visual from where we were starting to where we needed to end up. Sometimes planning the Point A to Point B is the simplest form of travel. Use your skills and eventually you can handle any obstacle along the way using your gut as your guide. Having a visual of where I am going and planning for the trip will always help me. Planning for the fuel I take along will also help my gut to survive overthinking or literally help my gut to survive. When racing it’s Gummy Bears and Uncrustables. In the car it’s my vast array of Apple Music Playlists, and in life its my inner circle of incredible personalities guiding me through each day.
The next time you get into your car or an unfamiliar situation, think of the GPS and your gut. Both will get you where you want to go if you have a plan and listen to your turn by turn. Some days there will be traffic and obstacles. Prepare for them! The most important part of all as we travel forward (and maybe upward) is – enjoy your ride.