What a Date with My Wife Taught Me About Guidance

I recently took my wife on a date to a new restaurant. We left our apartment, following my phone’s GPS. After a bit of driving, it says we’ve arrived! And we had. Almost.NorthHills

We were still on a highway, with two huge shopping plazas on either side of the road. I glance down at the GPS. It’s got nothing. It think’s we’re there, and doesn’t even tell me which side of the road the restaurant is on.

That was fine. How difficult could it be to find the place? We puttered around the shopping plazas, looking everywhere we could for our destination. No luck. I even tried plugging it into my GPS a couple more times before giving up.

In the end, I did find the restaurant by locating a map of the two shopping plazas and looking it up in the directory. From there, I found it on the map.
And so finally, 30 minutes after we should have, my wife and I walked into the restaurant.

What’s the point? The point is that guidance is vital. Here are a few thing we can learn from my experience.

  1. Be prepared to find new guidance. Sometimes, the guidance you have currently just isn’t enough. That isn’t to say its wrong. My GPS led us the right way–as far is it went. It got us in the vicinity of our destination, within probably 1/10th of a mile. Not bad for a 13 mile journey. It got us better than 99% of the way there! But it didn’t get us all the way.A couple of times, I re-input the address into the GPS, and followed it again. Why on earth I thought it would take me to the right place, when it had only gotten me into the general vicinity in the first place, I don’t know. But I did.We all do the same thing on occasion; we try to use the guidance we’ve been given previously to figure our current dilemma, but a lot of times, it isn’t enough. Like the title of Marhsall Goldsmith’s exceptional book, “What got you here won’t get you there”.Take the time to find new, more targeted guidance. Not because there is anything wrong with the guidance you received previously, but because it has taken you as far as it can.
  2. Find guidance quickly. Figuring it out on your own can be costly. After we finished dinner, my wife and I thought it would be nice to go see a movie. But it was too late. The last showing of the movie we wanted to see had already started.If we had arrived at the restaurant on time, we would have had plenty of time. If I had located the map of the shopping plaza earlier, we probably would have made it.Is there anything inherently wrong with taking a little extra time to figure something out? No, not necessarily.But there is a cost.Specifically, the opportunity cost. Think about it. I’ve got an opportunity. Option 1, drive around a shopping plaza trying to figure out where a restaurant is. Option 2, go see a movie my wife and I had been wanting to see. Which would you choose?

    Finding a little guidance could have helped us here. So if you say to yourself, “What have I got to lose by figuring it out on my own?” Remember, what Brian Tracy says, “Life is too short to learn it all from scratch.”

  3. Being “close” can be deceptive. Despite making it 99% of the way to my destination, it was still vital to have guidance in the final 1%. But being so close blinded me. Why would I need guidance? I’m practically there already! But as the old saying goes, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades.”Until you’re exactly where you want to be, don’t stop looking for guidance. It will make your journey much more pleasant, and it will get you where you are going much faster.

The date was hardly a dud. In fact, it was rather a lot of fun, getting lost in a new town and whatnot. But appreciating a mistake and repeating a mistake are entirely different things. Next time, I’ll make sure to stop for directions sooner.

No matter where you are in your journey, guidance is crucial. Find a book, find a mentor, find a course, and get to work reaching your goals.

Where do you find the best guidance? Let me know in the comments.

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About Allen

I love web development. I'm passionate about creating websites and web applications which are simple, clean, & easy to use.

I am constantly learning new technologies to help me develop more effectively. It excites me to take on big problems, break them down, and create elegant solutions.

I consult and develop code full time, and love almost every minute of it.