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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lost & Directionless

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“One day a traveler in a remote country town, convinced that he was on the wrong road, came to a halt in a village.  Calling one of the villagers to the car window, he said, ‘Friend, I need help.  I’m lost.’

“The villager looked at him for a moment.  ‘Do you know where you are?’ he asked.  ‘Yes,’ said the traveler.  ‘I saw the name of your town as I entered.’

“The man nodded his head.  ‘Do you know where you want to be?’

“‘Yes,’ the traveler replied and named his destination.  The villager looked away for a moment.  ‘You’re not lost,’ he said, ‘you just need directions.’”

That’s a wonderful story from Dennis Kimbro in Volume 11, Number 4 of the Executive Speechwriter Newsletter which highlights this distinction.  Being lost implies that we don’t know where we are, or where we’re going.  It’s not a nice place to be.  Children get lost in the mall because they’re not familiar with the surroundings.  They are not sure where they are and they certainly don’t know where to go to find their parents.

When designing our lives, we must remember that even if we are lost, it is very simple to find ourselves.  Let’s figure out where we are, financially, emotionally, physically, psychologically, etc.  Then, as any goal-setting workshop will teach us, let’s figure out where we want to be in all those areas.  With the beginning and end both known, we’re not lost.  All we need is to find someone who has traveled a similar road to give us directions.

When we feel lost in life it is because we lose perspective (where we are) and our dreams get faded into the distance (where we want to go).  Life is simple.  It’s all about making maps and following routes.  It’s not rocket science, but it is a discipline.

Here’s a quote by David Whyte to think about when we do feel lost:
    Stand still, the trees ahead and bushes beside you are not lost, wherever you are it's called here
    Stand still, the trees ahead and bushes beside you are not lost, wherever you are it's called here
    And you must treat it as a powerful stranger must ask permission to know it and be known
    Listen, the forest breathes, it whispers I have made this place around you
    If you leave it you may come back again saying here
    No two trees are the same to raven
    No two branches the same to wren
    If what a tree or a branch does, is lost on you, then you are surely lost
    Stand still, the forest knows where you are
    The forest knows where you are
    Stand still, the forest knows where you are
    You must let it find you
    You must let it find you

Let's love the world together...

Danish Ahmed, blind visionary

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