Mr. Bartender and I were driving to Miami the other day for a local festival. Since we had never been to this part of town, we were using the handy dandy GPS in my car. But on this particular day, the GPS wasn’t getting the job done. We were driving all over, getting frustrated that we weren’t where we wanted to be. Then it occurred to us that we were putting all of our faith in this little piece of equipment. And duh! maybe that wasn’t the right thing to do.
It reminded me that we do that sometimes with other things in life too. We rely on a person, a company or a process to give us all the answers. Just like we expect a GPS to give us flawless directions.
Even though we have a lot of resources at our disposal, it’s important to maintain perspective. Remember even the best people can have an off-moment. And they may not have all the answers. That doesn’t mean they aren’t smart and able to provide excellent results.
Eventually, Mr. B and I found our location. Only to discover there was absolutely no parking at the event. So, we turned around and headed home. But I wanted to share with you our lessons learned about dealing with the GPS, um…I mean people in your life:
A GPS is only as good as the information it gets. If you give a GPS the wrong address, it will take you to the wrong location. Pure and simple. Same goes for people you’re soliciting help from. The answers they provide will only be as good as the information you supply.
A GPS can offer multiple routes. Many times my GPS will offer 2-3 routes to get somewhere (quickest, no tolls, etc.) I find this true for many things in my life. For every question, there are usually several answers. Only you can decide the best one to take – it might be the easiest, the cheapest, etc. depending upon your circumstances.
Sometimes you need to follow your intuition. Couple of times on my Miami drive, I said to myself – something isn’t right, I think we should turn around. But the GPS was in charge. Each of us has probably done this too. We know something isn’t quite right but, because we’re not in charge…we don’t say a word. And, we possibly pay the consequences for our silence. In my case the consequence was immaterial – a scenic drive through Miami and a quarter tank of gasoline. But there are situations that end up much worse.
A second opinion can be valuable. As we started to lose faith in the GPS, I pulled out my iPhone and checked Google Maps. Another route appeared. It got us to our location. Don’t think for a minute that you can’t ask for another opinion. Even if it’s just to make sure you’re getting good information.
Don’t be afraid to ditch the trip. Yes, I found my destination but at some point it just wasn’t worth it. There are things we end up doing in life because we feel we’re supposed to. Or we’ve already invested a lot of energy and would consider it a waste if we didn’t go through with it. If it doesn’t feel right anymore, move on. You’re allowed to change your mind.
While I haven’t ripped the GPS out of my car, I do look at it a bit differently now. I’m also reminded that in my interactions with other people I need to give (and get) good information that will help me make the best decisions.
Image courtesy of Jimmy_joe0