In this socially distant world of ours there are many ways one can feel lost. Some people get physically lost, as in they took a wrong turn or forgot to bring a map and find themselves in unfamiliar territory. These days it seems we are all a little metaphorically lost, such as Spiritually or emotionally lost searching for a guide, something to show the path to happiness. We can be both physically and emotionally lost as in lost in a crowd. Often we don't think we are lost at all, but others feel we are based on their own path, perceiving us a lost soul or lost cause. Then there is the loss of time. We measure everything we do on time. It took us too long to reach our destination, we stayed at a waypoint too long, we want to get back to a past time where we felt whole and a little less lost. The way one can feel lost very individual but it does follow a specific pattern. What is that pattern and more important how do maps help us find our way?
⇴ 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭: You can’t get lost if you never started. Starting requires planning it doesn’t always need a concrete destination but it does need some sort of a plan. Sometimes it’s a feeling a longing for something better. I can be better, I need need more out of my life, I have a yearning to explore or as simple as… I want to reach that location. When we feel that way the hamster wakes up and starts turning that wheel. We don't realize it but we forming a map. We begin to chart a destination by marking where we are and where we intend to be. This is where physical, paper maps aid us in our course by allowing the whole picture to be seen, then we can make a navigation decision based on the information available to us.
⇴ 𝐄𝐦𝐛𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧 𝐚 𝐣𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲: You formulated a plan, studied your map, then took the first step. In many ways this is the most important step, the one that leads you to greatness. A map is a valuable tool that can show you the path, but it cannot show you the journey. Before embarking from Troy to Ithaca the great Odysseus looked at a map, he charted his course home and embarked on his journey home. All the bits and pieces in between were his experiences, true only to him. Sometimes after charting a course we change it and create a new goal. Not all journeys lead where we intend, some lead to darkness, other to greatness and some lead nowhere. The good, bad or ugly you used your map, charted a course and where brave enough to start down a path.
⇴ 𝐋𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭: You are lost! You studied your map, you followed the laid out path, then somewhere along the way something happened. Whatever the reason you are lost now, you weren't lost at some point and you want to get back to familiar territory. Being lost is the scariest point of a journey. This is where fear of the unknown and self doubt try to take over. What did I do wrong? Why am I so lost? Often we are so busy blaming ourselves we forget that sometimes maps are wrong. Maps are fixed they can only provide information based on what geographical information was available at the time. They can not predict life. It could be there was a storm and a tree fell blocking the road, could be the road wasn’t there when the map was made . This is why studying a paper map is so important. Even though somethings can change not everything can change. So we reassess the situation open our map and look at the whole picture. This is where I started, I wasn’t lost here, I recognize this, I must be around here. Just because we get a little lost on the way doesn’t mean we five up on or can’t reach our goal.
⇴ 𝐃𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞: The all familiar proverbial fork in the road. That critical point of which path to take. This is where the map becomes the most important. We try to find where we weren't lost, draw a line to where we are and formulate a plan to get where we need to be. Sometimes we find it is impossible to get back to a reference point, straying too far off the path or just too many obstacles in the way. That doesn't mean we give up! You are lost and can't stay that way forever. So you reach inside and conjure up your inner hero and bravely remap your course. The new course sometimes changes the destination or rearranges our goals. What ever the destination it is it’s decision time, pull out your trusted map and navigate your way.
⇴ 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: Far too many people judge success on an intended destination. Not reaching your intended destination doesn’t make you a failure. Sometimes the destination changed along the way sometimes you change along the way. The important thing is it’s you who are the success not the destination. You made it. You where the one who wanted something more, pulled out the map and formulated a plan. You were the one with enough courage to embark on a journey, a quest of your own. Getting lost on the way wasn’t a setback it was an experience. A life lesson, one in which a mere map could never show. It was you who looked fear in the face and turned your back to it. Even if your journey took you back to the beginning at least you journeyed.You experienced life, saw new things, felt new emotions all things you would have never seen otherwise. It is all of our experiences whether good, bad, happy or sad that make us uniquely us.
Maps help to aid us in our journey but will always be the sidekick to Experience. They can’t display life, what they can do is can ignite wonder. Maps open our imagination to possibility fuel our wanderlust and lead us to greatness. Being lost doesn't make the journey was a waste of time, it makes it a grand experience.
~ Mapon Everyone