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Any Road Won’t Get You There

I was traveling today.  Some two-lane roads, some back roads, and some interstate miles. It’s a familiar trip, all the way across the state of South Carolina, from the ocean to the mountains.  We traveled our usual route, and prepared to turn off of I-26 onto I-385, and head on up toward the mountains…the homestretch.  But wait – what’s that? A sign that says, “Road closed until August 2010.  August! This is only May.  So we keep going.  It’s dark now and if there are good detour signs, I’ve missed them.  I left my GPS at home – after all, I know where I’m going, or at least I did until now.

After driving over 30 miles out of the way, and making several phone calls to some folks who live nearby, I’m finally back on a path that will lead me to my final destination.  It has become clear that all roads will not get me where I’m going.  And furthermore, a map would have come in really handy.

Metaphorically, we’re all on a road with our lives and our business or our careers. I would hope that most of us have a destination in mind and we’ve chosen our route accordingly.  If you are reading this and it occurs to you that maybe the path you’re on is not one you planned for yourself, or that perhaps you’ve just drifted along, not acting intentionally in the best interest of you, your family and your career, it’s not too late to make some changes.  Seek out wise counsel and get busy making those changes!

Where I found myself tonight is a perfect picture of what can happen when we least expect it.

It’s this:  We’re just cruising along on a chosen path with everything in place and working right. Then, all of a sudden, there’s a huge roadblock, a big obstacle in the way.  Plans are thwarted and detours must be found.  You can’t ignore it.  What should you do?

Here are my best suggestions:

  1. Stop and assess the situation.  Don’t continue on blindly; it probably won’t get you anywhere.
  2. If you don’t have a map or a GSP (figuratively speaking), you’ll need to ask the wisest person you know.  In other words, seek counsel.  But be careful where you go for advice. If I had called someone tonight who wasn’t familiar with the area or someone who wasn’t able to articulate directions clearly, it could have led me even further in the wrong direction.
  3. If information you are getting doesn’t “feel” right, ask someone else.  And you know we’re talking about business or personal advice here, not road trip directions.  It could be that you need to look for professional help if you feel you really need a strong guiding hand.  A life coach or a business coach may be just the thing.

Don’t be afraid of being off-track or lost – just do what it takes to get on a path that will get you where you want to go.

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