People who use their car’s GPS for a trip to the grocery store amuse me. The directions couldn’t be easier or more direct—turn right as you exit the subdivision, turn left at the fourth stoplight, and make a right into the parking lot. When I question the logic behind their choice, the typical response is, “Oh, I just what to see where I am going.” I suppose it makes sense.
Yet when I ask them about their plans for the week, next month, or a year from now, I invariably receive a deer-in-the-headlights stare. Answers for the next week illicit expected activities like work, errands, and upcoming appointments. Extend the period thirty days, and you get shoulder shrugs or belatedly remembered mentions of an impending birthday, graduation, or wedding. I assure if you continue the line of questioning and inquire about next year, they will call you a weirdo.
Maybe I am odd. While others associate higher risks in short-term activities, I place my egg in the long-term planning basket. I find looking forward lets me be proactive rather than reactive. I don’t have a crystal ball, but it doesn’t take a fortune teller to predict you will never become a doctor if you are not studying biology, chemistry, or enrolled in Pre-Med classes. Imagining what life might look like in five or ten years gives me direction. Today’s dreams form the foundation of my goals.
Planning where I want to go forces me to assess my current position, establish a realistic roadmap, and set tactics for moving towards my future reality. I can anticipate pitfalls, roadblocks, and hurdles before they happen and devise strategies to avoid or minimize their impact on my progress. I know it works because once upon a time I dreamed of living the life I have now.
Where will your GPS take you?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer