If you want to visit a town in another state or take a hike in a National Forest, one of the first things you do is check a map, right?
Why? To see how far away the destination is and long the trip will last. What road will get you there and what turns to take. What kind of terrain to expect and if there are spots to stop along the way. All of this is vital information you need to prepare for the journey.
Another resource is the travel guide, a book that focuses on a particular area. It often includes a little history lesson, a description of must-see places to visit, a list of recommended restaurants, and maybe even a few places to avoid.
What do maps and travel guides have in common? They are both prepared by those who have been there in order to help those who come later. (Just be sure to find one that’s up to date. Our cover-less road atlas has coupons in the back that expired in the 1980s!)
We can benefit from this navigation example beyond our physical journeys. Say you get a discouraging health diagnosis. Or learn your child has special needs. Or want to get out of debt. Or want to pursue the dream of someday being published.
Where do you go for information and advice? To those who have been there. Whether it's a book, a website, a support group, or a friend, we go to the source for the details that will aid our own journeys. How long will this take? What can I expect along the way? What unexpected solutions did they discover? What mistakes can I avoid making? What did they learn as a result?
And, someday in the future, I may be able to pass along what I've learned about this life's journey.
What about you? Do you follow the advice of others or try to forge your own path? What maps and travel guides are you making for others to follow?