When we want to get somewhere, we punch in an address on the GPS, follow the instructions and look out for the signs and landmarks that indicate that we are on the right track. If we get off-course, then the GPS gives a warning, recalibrates a new route and sets us on another path to our destination. If we ignore the warning and continue along, then chances are we will not reach our destination – at least not at the estimated arrival time.
It’s the same with life. We know where we want to go, we set a path, and we follow the signs. The signs either tell us to keep going or give us a warning that we need to make some changes. When we heed the warning, we set another path and when we don’t we drift further from our destination. Just as the GPS, keeps telling us that we are off-course, so too with the signs – they get bigger and louder telling us that we need to make a change.
I know this very well, since I recently received some neon signs telling me that I was heading in the wrong direction. The first sign came early in the journey and I rationalized it away. “ It’s Ok. It’s a random event, nothing to do with me.” The second sign grabbed my attention. It was more dramatic than the first with much more negative connotations and yet still I dithered. My resistance went up and I began to whine, “Why do I need to make a change. I did nothing wrong.” Every rational reason that I gave myself felt wrong, and sounded untrue, yet I persisted. After that incident, the signs were everywhere – at the doctor’s office I overheard conversations pertinent to my situation, a chat with a stranger revealed even more information – all telling me the same thing “Give it up. Make a new plan. You are way off course.”
Reluctantly, I faced the truth. I was on the wrong path, and needed to recalibrate to get to my destination.
I gave up the fight. I took the pain and made a new decision which is not without it’s demerits. I haven’t yet found my stride in the new situation and there are no familiar landmarks. That’s Ok. There are no more signs and the road ahead seems clear.
What signs are you ignoring?
Maxine Attong is the author of two business books – Change or Die – The Business Process Improvement Manual and Lead your Team to Win. She is a speaker, coach, Organisational Development consultant and of course an accountant.