auto pilot takes me the wrong way

be here now

I’ve moved desk over the weekend.  We have had an office re-organisation and one result is I now have a different desk position in the office.

Today I have been confused. I have entered through the wrong door, headed for the wrong part of the office, gone the wrong way for the toilet. Several times. I have been, and seemingly continue to be, befuddled.

I haven’t lost my ability to think. I still know where doors and facilities are. I can still see. Yet I keep going wrong. Ending up in the wrong place. Going the wrong way.

It serves to demonstrate how much we do on auto pilot. Without thinking; without conscious thought at least. We just set off. Our heads filled with other non geographic, navigational stuff. Thinking instead about what we will do when we arrive, or about something we mustn’t forget.

I’m sure I’ll re-calibrate. Might take a day or two. Eventually though, a new autopilot route will have been programmed. I will be free again to wander without thought, arriving at my destination with no need to engage brain or use up some of my thinking bandwidth.

Life can be like that.  Something we take for granted changes and we are momentarily discombobulated. That which needed no thought, now requires some – for us to even function. These changes aren’t always physical; about our surroundings. They can be emotional too. A new emotion emerges. An unfamiliar one. Just like a new desk position, we need to adjust. Take note. Become familiar.

That way we stay flying.

Turn off autopilot and live with presence.
Live with attention.
Live with intention.

is the SatNav of life working?

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Driving a car is purposeful. It would seem strange not to have a destination.

Maybe it is home, work, friends, relatives or a visit to somewhere new? Wherever we are going, we normally know the end point before we set out. Indeed we may plan a route. Maps, Sat Nav or simply a route in our heads, recalled from previous journeys perhaps? Or maybe we simply know the key roads and towns and follow the strategically positioned, helpful road signs?

Along the journey, we speed up, slow down, to match the traffic and conditions around us. We indicate turns so that others on different and similar journeys know our intention. We illuminate the way ahead at dusk when we need to see the road to our destination. We may pause en route to resource and replenish ourselves before setting out again to our destination.

Life isn’t like this.

In one, somewhat morbid, sense we know our destination. But in another we don’t. At birth we don’t know our purpose. We don’t know where we’re going. We have no idea of the route our life will take, or of the turns or stops along the way. We can even be half way, or three quarters of the way through our life journey and still not know where we are headed. Sadly some complete the trip and still never knew.

The drive of our lives doesn’t come with maps in the glove box or a Sat Nav on the dashboard. Sometimes we will swerve without indicating, avoiding collisions or steering away from, or towards something. Sometimes we will slow down, or stop, without brake lights for those around us. Life temporarily on hold, or simply crawling in traffic. Sometimes we will make up the route along the way. Sometimes we will turn back. Sometimes we will find a detour. And what if we pause, but don’t like the place we have stopped? What if our way becomes dimly lit, how will we shine a light on the way ahead? What if our vehicle breaks down and we cannot travel to where we wish to be, in the manner or time frame we would want? What if we don’t have the resources, the capabilities, the fuel to reach our destination? Fill up?

We take journeys and driving for granted. Route, provisions, stopovers, movement, fellow travellers, destination.

We have one life journey, yet many of us meander through it.

No aim. No plan. No route. Accepting places we don’t like. Being and doing something, because we don’t know any different, other than to accept it’s just where we are at the moment, on this somewhat aimless journey. Reacting. Swerving. Braking. Turning. Accelerating.

You wouldn’t drive aimlessly. Don’t drive your life that way.

Pay attention to who you are, where you are going, why you are going there and why that matters. Be authentically you. Be purposeful. Be sure when you get to the end, you haven’t gone the wrong way. Relish the journey. Appreciate the views. Value the experience. Enjoy those you meet along the way.

Time to program your SatNav?