“Most of us spend too much time on what’s urgent, and not enough time on what’s important.” - Stephen Covey
I wonder if you have ever had your google or apple maps malfunction on you. I am sure there are a multitude of ways in which it can do that, but one of my least favorite is when it miscalculates my current location and then completely fudges its attempt to get me to where I need to go.
Sometimes I can find my way around this problem - like when I am starting a journey from a familiar place/address - like home :P Other times, it becomes a big freaking deal that it can’t figure out where I am, because I DON’T KNOW WHERE I AM EITHER.
And there is no better time for our technology to malfunction on us like when we are alone, late at night, on the outskirts of Dallas for example and for all you know turning left could take you downtown, to Houston, or worse…. To Oklohoma (that’s the Texas rubbing off on me btw). I am usually quite adventurous - but 11pm in the middle of nowhere with very poor internet connection is often a time I struggle to muster up that part of my personality.
We do this to ourselves sometimes, and often at the beginning of a new year when we decide to change our ways, adopt healthier habits and basically transform our entire lives over the span of one calendar year. We fantasize endlessly about our chosen destinations, the goals we hope to achieve and the people we are going to become.
And other than knowing we are unhappy, dissatisfied or frustrated with how things are now, I wonder if we spend any time understanding WHERE we are right now as we plan our path forward to all of those wonderful places, projects and people we are undertaking.
WHY am I unhappy? WHY am I frustrated? WHY am I dissatisfied?
What happened (or didn’t happen) that resulted in me being right where I am right now?
Why are these kinds of questions important?
Because failing to understand or figure out where we are and why may make it very difficult to plan a way out or forward. Not knowing what forces, subconscious decision making processes or desires got us lost and alone to begin with makes it kind of difficult to avoid those same choices again.
An important step anyone can take before they proceed forward in any endeavor is to get curious about the present, and more specifically, to wonder “why”?
I am not necessarily talking about paralyzing extensive psychological excavation here - although a little (or a lot) of therapy never really hurt anyone. But if you notice for example, that you keep falling back into the same familiar feelings of resentment, bitterness, frustration and burnout - or if your relationships with a number of different people are consistently characterised by the same frustrating and painful dynamics. If you keep struggling from the same kinds of setbacks again and again, year after year… then a simple tool you can deploy right now is one word: WHY?
And don’t just ask this once. With every answer (and stick with the first answer your brain jumps to) - ask again, but why?, and again and again and again until you bump into an answer that hopefully, causes your eyes to open wide, your head to tilt back just a little and your mouth to gape open in a little “ooooooooooooooooh…. THAT’s why”.
What you are hoping for - is a moment when you realize something YOU (yes you - not mom or dad or hubs or the kids) are doing or choosing that you can now go on to do and choose differently.
Your maps app will get you to where you want to go way more efficiently once it knows where you are right now.
Your goals/resolutions/hopes/dreams and desires for a new year, week or even today are a lot easier to reach once you understand what your starting point is and why.
If you would like some help with this process, particularly if one of the things you are trying to get the hell away from is feeling bitter, resentful and out of control of your own life. If it feels a little like you’re stuck in the back or the passenger seat of your own life and someone or something else has the wheel… then I would like to invite you to check out the “Whose Life Is It Anyway” virtual workshop - 5 online sessions you can take at your own leisure and guess what - session 1 is all about figuring out where you are right now and why :D
You can sign up for access to that here: https://laurendasilva.org/landing/whose-life-is-it-anyway