There was an article in the paper recently where Coventry City Council had put up one of those street maps with a large arrow showing you where you are. Unfortunately the arrow was in the wrong place and instead of highlighting the street that you were on was pointing to a street some half a mile away! Apparently it caused some confusion with shoppers and tourists wandering aimlessly trying to figure out where they were. It’s a bit like your sat nav telling you that you have reached your destination when you know full well that you haven’t.
It got me thinking about where I am at the moment. Am I just where the arrow is pointing? Have I successfully reached my destination? Is this where I expected to be 10 years ago, 5 years ago? I don’t think so. None of us can accurately plan exactly where we want to be at any given time. We might dream but those dreams and our circumstances change. This is what makes life so exciting and so interesting, not being 100% sure about what tomorrow might bring.
It doesn’t do us any harm though to pause and think, “Where am I now? Do I like being here?” Sometimes it might even be, “Where am I now and how the hell did I get here?” It is at times like this that we need to take stock and make decisions. For many people when they check the sat nav to see where they are they might very well decide that it is somewhere that they don’t want to be, it’s not the destination they had planned. It might be that they are in a job that they hate, or in a relationship that is going nowhere. For many who discover that they are in the wrong place there is an air of acceptance, they don’t really want to be here but they don’t have the courage to head off in a different direction. Seth Godin in his great book ‘Tribes’ says that we are often afraid to do things differently and that this fear is holding us back.We have somehow arrived in the wrong place but are too afraid to change:
“I think that people are becoming ever better at following, but are never learning to lead. They’re following instructions, following directions, following the pack and honing their skills – but hiding. Hiding from fear of leading.”