Navigating Life


Over the past while I haven’t been very prolific when it comes to blogging.

Its not that I’ve stopped.  In fact I’ve written quite a bit.

Yet for some reason very few things are ever finished and published.  I have this backlog of partially written entries that I don’t know if I’ll ever finish.  Because quite frankly, when I look over them I come to the conclusion that not many of them are very good.

When I write (or do anything in life really), I need to have a spark.  I need to be fully immersed and feel it.  But over the last while I haven’t.  There are a number of reasons, and I think the biggest one is – I’m completely at peace with myself, and fully happy in my life.

It’s kind of funny actually.

When I started writing, it was because my world had pretty much fallen apart and I was trying to understand and make sense of it.  I really enjoyed writing, but I didn’t just enjoy it…

I needed it.

I needed the outlet that it provided.

And now?  Well, I don’t.  I still really enjoy writing; but haven’t had that same spark in doing so.

A few days ago however I was in a communications course through work, and the facilitator started talking about navigation.  And as he spoke, the words really resonated with me.  I have always loved metaphors, and to me this brief discussion can be applied to all areas of life.


He opened with a question.

When you are trying to navigate, what is the most important thing?

My first thought (shared by many in the class) was that you have to know where you want to go.  But no, apparently that’s not the most important thing.

According to him the most important thing is knowing where you are, right now.

After hearing that, it seemed obvious.  I mean, of course you need to know where you are right now.  But the fact that it seemed obvious was kind of the problem.

We think it’s obvious.

We think we know where we are currently.

And because of that we don’t actually take a hard look at where we are, and instead we focus on where we want to go.

Here’s the thing though…

We are generally pretty terrible at knowing where we really are.

It’s very difficult to be honest with yourself.  It’s very difficult to look at a situation, and truly see the part we have played in the situations we are in.

It’s much easier to either be overly optimistic or overly critical of ourselves.  But we need to be honest.  We need to own our part in things.  Because until we do, we can’t ever really learn and grow.


Let’s assume we are relatively self-aware and we have spent some time doing some soul searching and we actually do know where we are (ish).  At that point, what is the next most important thing?


Again, my immediate thought was knowing where you want to go.

And again, I was wrong (hey, at least I’m consistent!!!).


No, once you know where you are the next most important things isn’t where do you want to go.  It’s why do you want to go there?  What are your motivations reasons for wanting to be somewhere other than where you are right now?   And why are you choosing this destination over a different one.

This really makes sense to me.  On its own a destination doesn’t really matter.  What matters is why we want to go there.

I think often in life we want to be somewhere other than where we are simply because we feel stuck.  So we tell ourselves that somewhere, anywhere else would be better than where we currently are.  This is where we get that “my life would be better if only…” idea.  Thing is, it’s usually misguided.  We are looking for answers without asking the right questions.


Lets says we know where we are.  We know where we want to go and we also know why we want to get there.

The next important thing is…

figuring out how we want to get there.

I actually got that one right, yay!

The point is, life doesn’t just happen.  It’s pretty rare that people just luck into things.  Generally they have to have some sort of plan on how to get there, or it doesn’t happen.

When we don’t have a plan is when we are liable to wake up one day and come to the realization that  years have gone by and we haven’t actually done anything.

And that is when we start to feel stuck.

So having some sort of ambition or plan for our lives is pretty important.

Now lets say you have a plan…

The instructor told us that the shortest distance between two points in navigation is called the track.  So when people talk about something being “on track” or not, they are essentially asking if it is heading to where it wants to go.

However we were cautioned – almost no journey follows the shortest distance (track).  This is because there are always different forces at play, both externally and internally.


External forces are those that are out of our control.

They can be anything.  Thinking of life, stuff happens – both good and bad.  Life is constantly throwing us curveballs, and it’s up to us to determine how we want to deal with them.  Do we let them drive us away from our goals?  Do they make us reexamine our goals and find that maybe they weren’t great goals in the first place?


Life is unpredictable.

Lots of things can and will happen.

But it’s still up to us to set goals, be willing to take a hard (yet fair) look at ourselves and be honest about where we are, make plans to achieve our goals, and recognize that we will have to periodically do course corrections.

Because when we do these things we give ourselves the best chance at the life we want.

11 thoughts on “Navigating Life

  1. Love this, and is super timely! I think I’ve recently had a “come to Jesus” meeting about “where I am” in some areas of my life, and am looking at discovering the whys of need for change.
    I am trying to apply this metaphor to relationships. I think asking the questions can be useful in more than just goal oriented accomplishments. ..they can definitely be applied to personal growth, and the choices we make, and in that way can be applied to ourselves in relationship to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Errr…I wrote a comment and lost it!
    I really like this, and it is very timely. I’ve recently had to be very honest with myself about “where I am at”, and why there is a need for me to change.
    I’m more guilty than I would like to admit of not being satisfied where I am, and I keep looking for things to change on the outside, that I can control- job,money,weight, ect,ect.
    The truth is I’m not satisfied because I DO lack something as far as relationships go (no, others can’t fulfill us, but there is ALOT of value in having GOOD relationships.) There are way too many “external factors” in creating goals for our relationships, but we can definitely use these tools and apply them to ourselves in our relationships, no?
    Thanks for the structure, Drew- I think it will help me as a process further!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t blogged lately either and like you, I used to write because I was either bored or lonely. Lately I’ve found myself in a different direction. I have future goals that I look forward to fulfilling, just not sure if it’s the best goal for me. Nevertheless, it’s making me look forward to the future. Great to read a blog post from you Drew! Hope life is treating you well (sounds like it is!) and hopefully I can also get back into blogging again

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Boots, it’s great to hear from you!!! Yes life is good these days, and getting that post out seems to have cleared some of the blogging cobwebs, as I have another one almost done that is kinda important to me.

      I’ve thought of you recently…

      At the end of September I went to San Diego through work (first time in California). A few weeks later I was in Canmore (Canadian Rockies), and the I was in Mexico just two weeks ago. With all the travel you’ve done it brought you to mind 😁


      • Hi Drew, so glad to know you’ve been traveling lately. How did you like California? I’ve been going there a lot this year and decided that eventually I’ll move back to LA where my heart and spirit belongs. Thanks for thinking about me!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Journey from the past to the present. | Wanderlust – A new chapter

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