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The other day I was in the elevator at a major Boston hospital heading to the 16th floor.  The elevator was full of people; visitors carryi...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We need a GPS for life.




I was totally lost in Cambridge, Massachusetts today.

I was getting nervous. Thank goodness I had my GPS. I just turned it on, it told me where to turn and how much time it would take to get where I needed to go.

I did not have to think. It thought for me. I arrived at my destination safe and sound.

It was great. No stress, no fuss.

Then I thought how nice it would be if we all had a box with a little voice telling us how not to get lost in life.

Some days are just overwhelming. It is hard to know what to do, what to say, how to act, when to call it quits, when to press on, when to change course. Wouldn't it be nice to have a guide, some navigation through the rough parts?

I have a patient's family member who could certainly use that right now. He is quite lost. He never knew just what to do. He had either too many voices telling him too many directions, or he was isolated with only silence. He is now hopelessly lost and I am not sure he will ever find his way back.

Some of us are lucky. We have a solid guide in our corner. A mom or dad, loyal friend, husband, wife, brother, sister. We may even have a wise child that helps as well.

But many do not have that. They live in a world of dysfunction. They, as my dad used to say, couldn't find their way out of a paper bag.

It saddens me to see it. But I know that I cannot always help. They need more than a snippet of advice. They need more than a friendly shoulder.

They need a GPS for life.

Many try to find that in psychologists or MDs or other professionals. Often, they are simply medicated with no firm direction ever really given. They are just chemically appeased; sent on their way down a path with still too many twists and turns. Sure to get lost again.

There is no good ending here. Most will just stay lost. But for the many of us that do in fact have a guide, or had one in our life that left us with a an innate ability to guide ourselves, we should count our blessings. We don't know how lucky we are.


A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.
H. Stanley Judd


All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.
Earl Nightingale

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