Ever been lost?
As you begin another new year let me ask you – have you ever felt lost in any area of life? Feel lost at some point last year? Don’t want to live the coming year lost? I could go on, but I know your time and attention span is short so on to my purpose of this short article.
Years ago - without your GPS lady if you got lost you had to stop at a local gas station or some business to ask for directions or you just could have stayed wandering in hopes of eventually finding your way to your destination.
I recall a few years trying to find the rental car location at the Denver airport and driving in circles cause my phone had died. Missed the flight and spent a lot of extra time at the airport. Ever had a similar experience - and not necessarily at an airport?
What exactly does it mean to be lost? For help I turned to the dictionary – misplaced, vanished, missing, mislaid, no longer possessed or retained, lost friends, no longer to be found – finally – having gone astray or missed the way, bewildered as to place, direction etc.
So, let me ask you where in life can we be lost? Here are a few – wrong career – lost? Bad or poor relationship – lost? Bad or poor personal habits – lost? Financial mistakes, too much debt or bad spending habits – lost? Confusion about what really matters in life – lost? Yes, there are many others but let me ask you – ever felt lost in any of these areas? I know I have and I’m not ashamed to admit it - cause - till I did I was unable to find my way out of lostness (yes, I know that’s not a word).
Being lost in any area of life can waste time, energy, resources and life in general. Ever stayed in the wrong job to long? Guilty! The wrong relationship too long? Guilty! So, Tim where are you going with this? OK, there are five things we need to consider when it comes to being lost; where are we lost, why are we lost, are we lost because of ourselves or others, have we been lost in this same area in the past and how do we get un-lost?
where are we lost – Lost is more an emotional than physical issue. Generally speaking your GPS lady is not going to help you get out of a bad relationship or job. The best way to determine if you are lost is to consider the following; if you are feeling a lot of - stress, confusion, anxiety, frustration, a lot of negative or invalidating self-talk, resentment, disappointment, unmet expectations, you are most likely lost – maybe not super lost but lost nonetheless. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a relationship, business, career or any other area – it’s most likely a time for – a change, letting go, surrender, new growth, acceptance, an ending, a new beginning or at the least some quiet introspection time.
why are we lost – well, a few taken from the above pretty much sums this one up. We are lost because; we feel stuck, feel obligated, are afraid we can’t handle change, don’t like uncertainty, are in blame mode, feel abandoned or just lonely - any or all of these and many others can contribute to lost feelings or actually being lost.
are we lost because of ourselves or others – there is little in life we can control, in fact the only thing we can control is ourselves – our decisions, choices, attitudes, mindsets, feelings etc. You would be amazed, maybe not, how many people believe they can control – the weather, the traffic, other people, consequences and just about everything. Got news for you – no can do – no matter how hard you try or how much you feel you should be able to control everything. So, if you are a control freak I’m guessing you are lost a lot and why? Because you are placing your destiny, legacy, happiness, health etc. in the hands of others or circumstances that you will never be able to control. So being lost is ultimately a decision we make due to any number of uncontrollable factors.
have we been lost in this same area in the past – This one is simple – if you have ever been lost a second or third time in the same life area – guess what? Right, you didn’t learn what life wanted you to learn during the previous lostness so it’s giving you another chance. And guess what? If you don’t learn it this time it will keep giving you more opportunities to learn it until you finally do. Boy, I am so guilty of this one that I hate to admit it in public.
how do we get un-lost – well there’s a book here but I’ll keep it short. In no particular order of importance;
-spend more time in honest self-examination and introspection.
-create an honest support group (3-10) of people who you can bring real issues to and they will be honest with you no matter what. Never rely on just one person because no matter how smart they are you will only get their opinion and trust me – one is never enough.
-Have a couple of coaches – never just one and make sure they have experience in the areas where you want or need guidance.
-Learn to accept the truth and not your version of it.
-Change your mindsets about change, uncertainty or new beginnings. See them as positive, necessary and valuable.
-Get outside of your own ego-driven attitudes, paradigms and comfort levels.
-Admit failure, mistakes, poor choices and/or decisions.
-Don’t get stuck in other’s realities – stay focused on what is really happening or going on and not what others want you to see or believe.
As an author, I could go on for pages with this stuff, but let’s wrap it up with one key point. Sooner or later in the adventure we call life - all of us are going to feel lost, get lost or be lost in some area of life. If you live life to the fullest you can’t avoid mistakes, bad decisions or choices, failure etc. “lostness” but what you can do is learn from it or them, so you don’t keep getting lost again and again in the same life area. There yet???