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Have You Built Your Own Personal "Garmin"?
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Give Yourself a Gift for the New Year


Season's Greetings!  Tis the season for Giving, and here's a gift suggestion that only you can give yourself and your family:


A Navigation System for Your Life


Finding your destiny...

Many of us are now accustomed to personal navigation systems that help us travel from wherever we are to whatever destination we choose.  These devices are so reliable that they become comforting habits-of-use.  I fire mine up as soon as I clear my garage, and even though I've made the trip into town for more than 12 years now, I still like the image of my truck going along the simulated highway. I can do without the "voice" on familiar trips, but when driving to a new destination in town, at night and on snowy roads, that voice takes on affirming support when I hear "her" instructions to "turn right onto X Street in one mile."


Wouldn't it be neat if we could buy a navigation device like that to help keep us on clear pathways as we travel through life's abundant choices?  Man, could I have used that kind of device sixty years ago! Of course that option was as "inconceivable" as a pocket-sized phone that would work almost anywhere, or for that matter, sending Americans to the moon and returning them in one piece.  Might the "unimaginable navigation system for your life" be more than a pie-in-the sky dream?


Those of you with strong faith in some higher power will say you already have your guidance system, and I am happy for you. In my own life the Scientific Method, data and Empiricism have held the dominant role in much of my decision making. So when it comes to life's major travels, I want as much hard, reliable evidence as possible. Even though most of my life has been lived, I'm still motivated to build a "Life Navigation System" for whatever time is left. 

To build it I'll need parts that work like the ones in my truck navigator plus some pieces far outside the handheld device. Let's start with a parts list:

  • Old Time NavigatingA Voice that is crystal-clear in what it says and how urgently it says it. That will have to be the voice inside my head.
  • A finely tuned Listening Skill that carefully attends to and interprets the Voice. Hummm, this is harder than I thought. The device will require more parts!
  • A Context Generator, currently not available in any navigator device the consumer can buy. This too must also be in my brain because every journey takes place within some meaningful context. The basic mental context to establish is "What's the Primary Purpose of the Journey?"
  • A Value Assigner that continuously monitors "What Matters Most Now?", "If We Keep Going, What Will Happen?" and "Is the Journey Still Worth It?" The over-the-counter navigation systems don't have this feature either. Maybe I'd better change the name to
    "The New & Improved Life Navigation System".
  • Map for every journey you want to take.  Each map must show a precise present location and an equally precise desired destination.
  • No Turning Waypoints are needed for the route you plan to take to your destination. Waypoints take on importance based on your "Value Assigner". Do you want the shortest route, the most scenic route, the route with places you've always wanted to visit, and so on.  And once the route is set, waypoints take on an additional responsibility. They keep you on the course you've set.
  • A "Re-calculator" As annoying as the word "re-calculating" can sound, it performs an essential role telling you when you've strayed off-course.  If your waypoints don't come with some kind of re-calculating algorithm, then you will become lost. As long as it doesn't kill you, "lost" can become its own interesting destination.
  • Satellites watching your progress. This problem might be the biggest one yet to resolve since none of us has personal satellites orbiting in space monitoring us 24/7/365. Worse yet, our earthly journeys are not earth-bound. They are often subtle and intangible.  What to do? One possibility is to set up a "Satellite Coach", a human ready, willing and able to get you on course and keep you on course. Family members should not be used in this role.
  • Continuous Measurement to destination. The most important things in life work best when they receive continuous feedback (e.g. body functions and chemistry). The more important your journey, the more valuable you'll find (near) continuous measurement of the things essential to achieving your destination.  What is implied is a need for a Personal Dashboard for you to keep an eye on. That piece of equipment will require another visit to my world of thoughts and writings.

If all the journeys you ever will take are little more than "the usual trips to town," then a Life Navigator is unnecessary. On the other hand, if you think you're going to fill a life using "roads less traveled," might it then be worth the effort to build your personal Life Navigator?


Frame your answer this way: "Would I prefer to put the effort into my Life Navigator now, or at the end of my life when I wish the heck that I had built something better than whatever guided my past life's journeys?" Regrets can last longer than you.


Don't minimize the need for a crystal-clear Life Navigator!


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Prosperous New Year, 
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Allen M. "Dr. Al" Raffetto, Ph.D.

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