Most of us get personally lost at least once in our lifetime. Some are disorientated for a matter of weeks, others months, and for others, years or even decades. Being lost is an awful place to be. We feel disorientated, disillusioned, aimless, uncertain with accompanying effects of fatigue, boredom and depression for some.
One of the gifts of our lostness is that we discover things about ourselves, others and life that we didn’t know existed in our prior state. When things change in our lives, we change – it’s the nature of life’s course and often, we have to get lost in order to truly find ourselves.
I experienced a period of lostness for around three years. After my separation/ divorce, the landscape was incredibly different. Trying to navigate new roads in unfamiliar territory was incredibly challenging, to say the least.
On one dense foggy night as I was driving home from a friend’s home in the country, I had to keep my eye on the white line given I could see only a few metres ahead. I knew that if I simply followed the line it would lead me home. I realised that in my current personal fog, all I had to do was find that life line that would lead me out into the light of day. I couldn’t see very far ahead but if I simply did one thing at a time, moving forward with at least some semblance of future direction, I would eventually find my way home.
From that point, I took the time to re-create a picture of what I wanted my life to look like in five years time. I then created some individual goals in order to help me arrive at my ideal destination. I then took those goals and created start dates and then placed those particular activities into my diary to be completed on a regular basis. Doing this accomplished the following:
- Gave me a sense of my future destination/home (which I can change anytime I want to)
- Clarified the white lines – the next thing to do in order to get me one step closer to home
- Provided some metrics in order to assess progress
- Gave me a return point due to the high likelihood I would go off course. i.e I can go back to the white line – my action plan
If you’re out on foggy roads or in unfamiliar terrain, stop, locate your ideal destination, design how to get there and then follow one step at a time. And, try to enjoy the mystical experience of the fog on the way. Sometimes that in itself can inspire even the most lost soul.