The flight landed late and the line to pick up the rental car was long.
I hadn’t been to San Francisco for years and back then I was visiting my brother and he showed me around.
I had ordered the GPS; I typed in the address of the guesthouse I had booked. I started driving.
As I reached the highway I realized that the GPS was on a ‘simulated journey’ and it was nearly at the destination.
I, on the other hand, was circling the airport in heavy traffic with a slowly but steadily increasing sense of sheer panic.
I pulled over to the side of the highway, detached the device from its stand and started over. Destination typed in, go and I started over. The same thing happened again.
At this stage, I exited the highway and pulled into a gas station. It was after midnight. A man was filling up his car so I pulled up, got out of the car with the GPS in my hand and walked towards him.
In that instant I had a flashback to all the movies I had ever seen, it was such a familiar feeling. I could see the drive-by shooting, I watched the guy bundled into the boot of the car. I could smell the cigar smoke of the gangster sitting watching in the car on the other side of the lot. I could hear the radio crackling from the cops on a stakeout. Above all, I knew that you don’t go up to a stranger in a gas station and ask for help, it’s a recipe for disaster.
So many stories, so much fear.
Being alone and lost in a strange city, so late at night, what did I expect?
Well, you can guess what really happened right?
The kind gentleman showed me where the GPS settings were incorrect. We changed the settings, I thanked him and he wished me a good night and safe travels.
I got back into my car and set off following the GPS instructions and not long later arrived at the guest house where my hostess and a hot cup of tea awaited me!
There had felt anxiety and even some fear, but I’m happy to say, it didn’t take over.
But it serves as a great reminder of those times in my business where I’ve felt lost. It’s not that I didn’t know where I’m going but at those times it felt like the GPS wasn’t working or perhaps that I had the wrong map!
The trick is not to panic, not to let the anxiety and fear completely de-rail you. To trust that you’ll get there eventually and nothing bad is going to happen along the way.
And of course, there are often some great people along the way that can help you out.
Asking for help or guidance is sometimes the hardest thing to do but it’s so worth it.
And with that, remembering that you can figure it all out, just be patient and little bit brave and trust in you.
What did you do last time you were lost? Share your story below.