Quote of the Week

"We Must be Willing to Give Up the Life We Have Planned, So As to Have the Life that is Waiting for Us."
-Joseph Campbell
Week of Aug 12, 2013

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Recalculating ... Life Lessons from a GPS

I got my husband a fancy GPS thingy for his birthday. It's portable - but we mostly stick it on the windshield in the car and let it tell us which way to go. The is a very appropriate gift for my directionally challenged husband. (He got lost on our first date.)

What's cool is that this very pleasant voice reminds you of turns ahead and helps navigate the drive. And, she is very patient.

For example, if I had been looking at a map -- or just giving suggestions on our route, and Ryan took a wrong turn (inevitable), I'd probably launch into eye-rolling ... proceeded by huffing ... and the more turned around we get, remind him "I TOLD you to go that way, but nooooo ..."

Not the lady in the GPS. Her tone never changes. And if you make a wrong turn, there's a brief pause, and then she simply says "RECALCULATING." Throw her any curve ball, and the answer is a steady, calm, non-condescending "RECALCULATING."

Imagine if you could work that into how you handle difficult people or situations.
Kid can't find his shoes and you need to be walking out the door NOW? You could yell and scream, or pause: RECALCULATING. Get your wits about you and find the shoes.

Time to head out the door and you go to the kitchen to find same kid covered in Sketti-O's? First instinct: FLIP OUT. But instead: RECALCULATING. New shirt. Move on.

Or at work. Work all day on a special project or idea, present it with high hopes, then get told -- "that's not what we had in mind." Heartbreak? Pout? Discouraged? RECALCULATING. Ok, what do I need to do to meet their expectations? Adjust. Adapt. Recalculate.

If we could all have the patience and ability to adjust -- like the calm lady in the GPS, the road we're traveling would probably still be bumpy ... but the ride would be easier.


Jenny said...

EXCELLENT application.
Tomorrow I'm adopting the GPS lady's phrase.

Amy said...

My husband got me a GPS for Christmas and I love it. Best gift ever, except for my daughter.