We all have to make choices every day over which direction to go.
- We have the regular routes we follow including those we can do with our eyes closed – to the bathroom or our child’s room in the middle of the night.
- There are short journeys in our local area – to school, work, shops or other local amenities.
- Than there are those journeys we make less frequently, but are still familiar, perhaps to visit a relative or friend.
- Finally there are those which we have never taken before.
How do we choose which route to take?
For most journeys there is more than one way we can go – we all know about avoiding certain routes at peak times and if it is your local area you will know the shortcuts.
What about if you are in a less familiar area? You are sitting in a queue of traffic and you see lots of cars turning down a side road. Do you follow them because they seem to know where they are going, or do you remain in the traffic queue because you don’t know where the route will bring you out?
We all have different ways of dealing with these situations. We may just stay on the main roads and follow the signs. But what happens when the signposts are missing or the place you want to go suddenly disappears off the signs (and we’ve all been there)?
In these days of satnav we can punch in our current position and where we want to go and then just follow the directions. But we’ve all seen or experienced ending up in a dead end, the wrong place, or huge lorries down narrow roads unable to turn around.
We can look at a map and plan which we to go, either in advance through one of the route planners or by looking at the map ourselves; or as we go along, making decisions based on what we have just experienced.
Our journey online can be much like this. I’m sure that you’ve probably guessed which way I am going with this so I won’t give the analogies to every journey.
I personally don’t use a satnav – I suppose that I want to feel more in control of what I am doing. However it often gives us confidence to know that someone is giving us directions, especially if they know what they are doing. Unfortunately, we know what can happen if we blindly follow and get led astray – it can be difficult to turn around.
The nice thing about maps (and I love them – was brought up on them and don’t like to go anywhere without one) is that there is more than one way to get somewhere.
Sometimes we want to take the motorway because we have to get somewhere quickly or have a deadline to make.
Sometimes we have a bit more time and can take things more slowly because we want to admire the view.
And sometimes we find something interesting on that map that we just have to go and investigate – it might or might not be worthwhile, but it all adds to our experience.
But in the end, no matter which road we take, as long as we know where we want to end up, we should enjoy the journey, learn from our experiences and be friendly to those we meet along the way. We never know when we may be able to help and support each other.
And I think there should be plenty of that going on – ever notice how many people avoid looking you in the eye when you approach each other on a path…?
So each of us needs to find the way that works for us at a particular time. It can and should change if we feel that we are going in a direction that is not right for us at that time.
Do you know what it is that you are trying to achieve online – your initial or subsequent destination?
What do you need to do to get there and what can you use to help you along the way?
Let’s make some decisions, find out route and start moving forward.
As the proverb says:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.