Those are the words I sometimes hear from my sat-nav after I’ve taken a ‘wrong turning’.
It means that I’ve ‘deviated’ from the route – the route to my objective.
Taken a ‘wrong turn’ on the way.
It’s great to have GPS to help us find our way geographically from where we are to where we’re going.
Stopping to look at the map or relying on road signs didn’t really work that well.
But we could do with ‘GPS’ for other things in our lives.
We have a natural tendency to go round in circles.
There’s a reason for this but the explanation would take too long for this message.
It’s well known that when people get ‘lost’ say in the desert or at sea or anywhere there are no landmarks to guide the way, or they can’t see the stars to help in navigation – they end up going around in circles.
Even when we get ‘lost’ in a city we often walk on in what we thought was a straight line following our ‘sense of direction’ but end up somewhere we’ve already been on that particular journey.
Once we take a ‘wrong turn’ we start to deviate from our route, and the further we go, the further away we get from our intended destination.
When I was taught navigation as part of a seamanship course during my dive leadership training it was demonstrated how a slight, one degree or less, deviation from the course could cause us to miss the target – usually an isolated wreck or reef site that we were planning to dive, by a considerable distance.
Without making course corrections – changing course little by little to get back on track, you can end up in the middle of nowhere.
NASA estimated that the moon rocket was only actually on the intended course about 1% of the time, constant corrections had to be made to enable it to reach the landing site rather than miss the Moon altogether!
Geography is one thing – but what about everything else in our lives?
You and I set goals.
We set targets
We have visions or ‘dreams’ of the life we would love to live.
But how often are we actually on track towards those goals?
I shouldn’t be surprised if, like the moon rocket, it was only about 1% of the time!
Now here’s the thing.
Are your relationships ‘on track’?
Is your health ‘on track’?
Is your career or business ‘on track’?
Are your finances ‘on track’?
Is your lifestyle ‘on track’?
Are YOU ‘on track’?
The chance of all of these being ‘on track’ at the same time is less than 0.0001%, much less, in fact too many zeros for my calculator!
And all because you and I have ‘deviated’ just a tiny bit from our ‘track’ and then not made a ‘route recalculation’.
And it’s so easy to do, as the friend who I was out walking with last week will testify! We had to ‘re-route’ quite a few times to get to where we wanted to be.
Now, it’s not too difficult to do that ‘course adjustment’ if we know where we’re going, no matter how far off course we find ourselves.
But do we know if we’re off course?
And is it a matter of just going in a different direction to get to where we want to go – or do we have to go ‘back’ and take the turning we should have in the first place?
And what happens if we’re not sure where we’re going anyway?
Well in a way it doesn’t matter because if we don’t know that, then ending up in one place is as good as ending up in another – any wind is good for a sailor who has no destination.
So besides you and I knowing where we’re going with all those aspects of our lives, we also need to know the route we intend to take.
Then all we need to do is to monitor our progress along that route.
And the more frequently we do that the closer we’ll stay to the path.
And when the path is ‘blocked’ it becomes easier to find a way around it and make progress – but if we’re on the wrong path and meet an obstacle then we’re really not sure at all about what to do or where to go.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
Until we ‘forget’ about the monitoring, until we get so wrapped up in what we’re doing, thinking or being that we miss a few turnings and find ourselves somewhere completely different from what we intended.
Now sometimes you and I decide to change our destination in the light of this – we may have discovered something along the way that modifies our goal – but often we don’t and need to get back on track.
Which means it will usually take longer, cost more, be harder or whatever.
But what if we had a ‘sat-nav’ that would help us keep on track, point out our ‘deviations’ and present us with alternative ‘route recalculations’.
Someone who will spot our deviations from the course, keep us focused on the way forward and help us make sure we really are heading towards where we want to be.
That ‘sat-nav’ is called a ‘coach’.
You and I need coaches for all the domains of our lives. Sometimes they can be a partner, sometimes a friend and sometimes a professional guide who has experience of a particular route we want to travel.
Who are your coaches?
I know who mine are.