Nobody likes to get lost. Even when we know exactly where we are going we tend to pull out our phones for mapquest or queue up the latest version of GPS before we head out on the road. We tend to take the same route, whether to work, church, grocery store, or family gatherings. We are, after all, creatures of habit.
Getting lost isn’t efficient, we say. Even if we add in extra time to get where we are going – “just in case of accidents or traffic jams” is the way my mother put it. We don’t want to be late and yet we never seem to have the time to try something different – a different route, a different destination. And our days seem packed with activities that won’t give us that latitude.
But I believe that exploration is good for the soul and good for leadership. If people before us had not taken the time to try things differently what great things would not have happened. What inventions would not enrich our lives? Would we really have been content with oil lamps and outdoor plumbing or getting everywhere by horse and buggy? We exist as a country because intrepid adventurers set out to see to explore the world.
Whenever I moved to a new place, which I have done often, I would explore my surroundings and often would get myself purposely lost so that I could find different routes to get back home. I have always been a curious person eager to learn and discover new places, sights, and experiences.
I believe that oftentimes we beat our heads against walls trying to fix problems by using the same old methods. We could save ourselves a whole bunch of grief by trying something radically new just for the heck of it. We could surprise ourselves. Remember, penicillin came about because of moldy cheese left on a windowsill.
So I urge you to block out some time to get lost – purposefully. Embrace the unknown, the uncertain, the unpredictable. Take a chance and see what you may discover.