While I have a lot of trust issues with the GPS on my phone, my personal GPS (Goal Pursuing Strategy) has never let me down. (OK, I know that sounds cheesy, but stick with me here. I’m making a point.)
Sure, my GPS has taken me on some wild detours; but in hindsight, it’s always put me exactly where I’m supposed to be.
Just like the Global Positioning System, your personal GPS works much like a map. There’s a starting point, a destination, and directions for getting from point A to point B. Occasionally, your GPS will change your course due to external factors like traffic or construction. You’ll have to make pitstops along the way for the necessities, like a bathroom or sustenance. Sometimes, you might just pull over to stretch your legs or to take in the scenery. Maybe you’ll stop to help a stranded motorist. Maybe you’ll change your destination altogether. Lots of things can happen on the way to achieving your goals. My point is that no matter how many times your route changes or your ETA gets delayed, you have to stay on the ride.
For me, my goal of graduating from college has been filled with detours. I’ve even arrived at a few dead ends. When it was overwhelming and heartbreaking and felt like more than I could manage, I stayed the course. I trusted my GPS, and it never let me down. When I was truly lost, it brought me to my husband. When I was laid off, it guided me to my dream job with an amazing family of coworkers. Every time tragedy struck, my GPS was there with an alternate route to my goals. It wasn’t the route I planned, and most of the time it took a lot longer than I expected (like, a few years longer), but I’ve realized that the scenic route has way better perks.
A few tips for the road:
- Be courteous and considerate of your fellow travelers. You never know who is sharing the road with you, what challenges they’ve faced or where their travels are taking them. Be kind, but do not let people mistake that kindness for weakness. Be classy, whether you’re nurturing a positive relationship or severing a toxic one.
- One thing you will not usually find in your personal GPS is shortcuts (a.k.a. cheating). Just as the scenic route has its perks, shortcuts have their penalties. And the more desperate you are, the more tempting the shortcuts will be. Just remember that if you are not proud of the path you took, you cannot truly be proud of the destination you’ve reached.
So, my fellow travelers (especially my fellow graduates!), as you embark on your journey to greatness, I hope the driving conditions are always pleasant. I hope your traffic delays are minimal and the cops always let you off with a warning. I hope you embrace the alternative route and find wonderful surprises along the way. Most of all, no matter how impossible your dreams may seem, I hope you stay on the ride.