I am not great with directions. The kind of directions that take you from where you are to where you are going on this physical planet. I’m not “not good”. No, I’m lousy, terrible, clueless, and just plain directionally stupid. In the past I would print Yahoo! Maps (remember those?) for every meeting and destination and still managed to get lost.
In 2004, when Rick and I were car shopping, I learned about the solution for my woes. We test drove a car and I saw it for the first time. It was right there in the middle of the dashboard. I saw it with my own two eyes…A NAVIGATION SYSTEM!
I literally exhaled and dropped my shoulders because I had potentially found a solution for my Achilles Heel. Could this simple computer in new cars make up for my lack of intuition for getting from here to there? I thought it might…
Now, imagine my surprise when Rick told me he’d researched and decided we were NOT going to get the package with the Navigation. Wait, what? We needed to “step away from the salesperson” so I could candidly figure out what in the world was wrong with my husband!? Did he forget who he was married to? We had a moment, and after that moment we agreed to purchase the car with the navigation system. I digress…
Even when you’re aware that you’re not skilled in an area, it doesn’t make it easier to tolerate. In some areas we can delegate, steer clear, or find a work around. Here’s my question, though. Is it OK to be terrible at something and accept and figure out how to live with the limitation, or is that simply an excuse for not trying?
Clearly, my inability to navigate is a non-critical example, but I do like the question. When there’s something we’re not great at we must go beyond accepting and admitting to ourselves, we need to decide if we’re OK sharing our limit/weakness/stupid spot with others.
When I was young I tried to hide my limitation and it was stressful. Studying maps, printing MapQuests and Yahoo!Maps, and studying and memorizing a map and turns to a destination before leaving the house. I would prepare trip by trip. It took me a lot of time. It was anything but natural. I tried hard to get better.
Next, a few things happened. First, the energy and time I was devoting to looking as if I could get from point A to point B wasn’t making me that much better at getting places. I was terrible, and thanks to my lack of improvement and maturity by high school my friends knew that I was officially and clinically directionally challenged and it’s true today! I also realized that I was trying so hard and putting so much effort into this and for many – most, really – getting from A to B was not a source of stress or worry at all. For them it was natural and effortless.
Last November I wrote Underestimating effortless. Well, driving places without directions and arriving at the right spot was anything but effortless for me. It made me uptight and embarrassed. So I’ve decided to own this limitation, accept it, and use navigation to get places. Thank GOD for GPS.
What limitation can you stop devoting energy to and just get a navigation system? I look forward to hearing from you.