Leave that map at home

by Yann Girard

What happens when you have a map, a map to a place or to a certain destination is that you’ll end up missing all the fun along the way. Like the children playing. Or that stranger smiling at you.

Instead you’ll constantly be staring at that map. Or that phone with the map.

Whenever you have a map or a guidebook telling you where to go to and what to do you’ll usually end up where everybody else ends up. You’ll be missing all the hidden gems. And instead you’ll be following the masses.

Following a plan is the safe bet. But is it the best bet?

The best stories are usually the ones where we get lost. When something goes wrong. When something unexpected happens. When some things don’t go according to plan. When we screw up but manage to somehow fix it.

Those are the stories we usually tell our friends when we come back home from vacation. When we come back from a trip. Or from a convention. Or when we come home to our families and tell them about how we were able to fix this and how we fixed that.

You know. All of these stories where we supposedly (almost) saved the world.

Those are the stories we’re going tell our grandchildren.

When something doesn’t go according to plan, when we experience something unexpected, something that gets us out of our comfort zone, we usually end up having an exciting story to tell.

When everything goes according to plan all the time, when you play it safe all the time, you’ll never have a story to tell your friends. Your parents. Or your grandchildren.

No one wants to hear that story where everything went according to plan.

Do you have to tell exciting stories all the time?

No, not all the time. But some of the time.

Because it’s those moments where we get lost that make us feel alive. Instead of feeling dead inside.

Sure, maybe it’ll take a while where we feel dead inside before we will feel alive again. More alive than ever before.

But to really appreciate the sunlight, to be grateful for all the small (and big) things in our lives, we need to have seen some darkness. At least for a little while.

So every once in a while leave that map at home. Don’t have a plan every once in a while. Make that risky bet every once in a while. Because that’s when you end up having a story to tell..

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