by: Eric Hodgdon

I had to drop off paperwork in Lunenburg, MA last week. I don’t know my way there without a GPS, and the trusted GPS app I use is Google Maps.

The app got me there without any problems. But, on the way home Google Maps took me a different way, and at one point got me so far off track, it wound up taking an extra ten minutes to get home. Now, in the grand scheme of things, ten minutes isn’t a big deal. But, in that moment, I let it get to me and I was mad because an app should be as concise as possible, especially one that deals with guidance!

Ultimately, it took me stopping and restarting the app and plotting in my destination again before it got me back on the right track.

Isn’t that the way we deal with life too? If we are cruising along, and something throws us off course (aka a challenge), we get all discombobulated and lose our cool. You wish you weren’t in that situation. Your emotions go south and before you know it, you’ve condemned your inanimate mobile device to the pits of an e-waste dump! Ok, maybe you don’t do that, but it was my reaction to this situation.

Here’s the thing – We do often lose our cool when we face something really difficult. And, just as if we are traveling somewhere we don’t know, or when faced with a difficult challenge, we need guidance. We need a map.

After I lost my daughter Zoi, it took me a while to get back on track to my path of healing. And that only happened because I used my four-part framework to get me through my fog and challenges to thrive again. And you can use this same four-part process to navigate your way through your challenges.

  1. Manage your Mindfulness – Are you seeing the bigger picture of the challenge in front of you?
  2. Act on your Approach – Are you taking into consideration the opposite perspective of your approach?
  3. Protect your Prediction – The outcome are we predicting is the vision of the world that doesn’t yet exist yet. And every action we take aligns with that prediction, good or bad. Be careful to predict the outcome that gets you to your goal and protect it!
  4. Stay in the Suck – This is where true grit and resilience is born. If we don’t embrace the struggle, we don’t learn. It’s a biological necessity to do so.


In the case of my trip to Lunenburg last week, here’s what got me back on track:

  • I became mindful that I was self-imposing an “I’m late” mindset when I had plenty of time to both correct my mistake and get home.
  • I looked at the perspective of other people who were going to their destination and I acted on that as, “I’ll get there with plenty of time.”
  • I corrected my initial prediction that I would be late, to that of, “I would arrive on-time or even a few minutes early,” which I did.
  • I stayed in the struggle. I just had to embrace the suck of getting off track. It gave me the opportunity to get back on track and I found a coffee shop in the process.

Look, we all need maps in life. Sometimes we can get off track, but we can always go back to the map to get back on-track.

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