I hate getting lost. I don’t like to get lost in Ikea. I definitely don’t like to get lost when I’m headed to a meeting. I start to panic even though I know I can ask a sales clerk for directions, or I can call the person I’m meeting and tell him or her I’m going to be late.
Even though I don’t like getting lost, I try to make room for it. I see the value in it. It’s in getting lost that I start to discover who I am and what I think. Not having my bearings causes me to evaluate my direction and to reorient myself when necessary.
Getting lost doesn’t require a lot of effort. It can happen in a familiar setting – the sun goes behind the clouds and the park looks entirely different. Maybe that seemingly friendly tree is now menacing. It can happen with a book; it happens to me all the time when I read. I return to a book and reread a section and discover a new layer. I find myself understanding the book in a way that I hadn’t previously.
Getting lost isn’t just for the creative people; it’s important for the more analytical people, too. My youngest brother is one such analytical person. He often feels lost when he’s taking a new engineering class or conducting research. He then grows, and it’s the result of embracing uncertainty and bewilderment.
The business world isn’t exempt, either. Businesses may be more hesitant to get lost, especially when they’re thinking about the bottom line, but getting lost is a prerequisite for being found. Getting lost leads a business or a communications department to consider other avenues. That business or department begins to examine what they’ve been doing and either to supplement those activities with something new or to choose a different route altogether.
Do you think getting lost is important?
Photo: Kotomicreations (CC BY-NC 2.0)