For a year or so here in my life in the Philippines I had a pretty interesting writing ‘gig”. I was a regular contributor to my friend Bob Martin’s “Live in the Philippines online magazine. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people, hopefully improve my writing style a bit and most certainly gain for exposure, readership and a little standing in the Philippine expat community.
In my view, one of the best pieces of work I ever did for Bob was an article entitled Why You Can’t Live In The Philippines . It’s still there on his site and I imagine still collects a reader or two from time to time. For those who haven’t read it and don’t want to make the trip (via the Internet) to read it for yourself, let me summarize it by saying, The Reason you aren’t living where ever you want to, today, is staring back at you from the mirror.” Where and how you chose to live your life is up to you … not under the control of various third-parties, “conditions” outside your life that you face, etc. You, and you alone are the one who decides, every day, to be where you are today.
Tough words? Yeah, well I’m a tough guy (in my dreams, anyway), and one thing for sure, I wake up every morning knowing that no one else is telling me where and how I have to live. Maybe I should write a book on that subject, eh?
from Seth’s Blog by Seth Godin
My Garmin gave me a route to the airport, but I had a hunch it was mistaken. So I went my way.
As I turned left instead of right, I heard her voice hectoring me, beseeching me to go right.
And I confess, I felt terrible. I was disobeying. Not following instructions.
If it’s gotten to the point where we are uncomfortable disobeying a 3 inch by 4 inch touchscreen, then you know we’ve been brainwashed. It’s actually okay (in fact, quite possibly productive) to call out the Garmins, the bosses and the influencers in your life, and ignore them all you like.
Those of you who know me well can easily see why this caught my eye. I made a living for years out of the Global Positioning System … working i-on the development of the system with the USAF, being an early (very early) tactical user of the GPS in the field and after my retirement from the government, consulting on, marketing and directly selling GPS products.
So if one of the best old time and highly regarded voices online starts talking about GPS, I’ll be reading.
What struck me the most from Seth’s article was, how much it applies to other life questions … like the aforementioned move to the Philippines decision.
I can’t count how many times I’ve chatted with people thinking about moving here when they mentioned problems/issues/obstacles they perceived were keeping them from their goals.
Without exaggeration, from what i see, not one in ten of those challenges are ‘real’ problems … obstacles that can’t be overcome, real-world limits like having to wait 3 more years to retirement, etc.
The other nine or more roadblocks? Almost invariably, “what people think”, what other people “know”, and (so common it is pitiful), ”they” told me it won’t work.
Friends, they are nothing more than Seth’s nagging GPS box. Like the GPS navigator, they may have a certain depth of knowledge, but they also are not always right. They are not in control of your life, and while it may be wise to listen for general guidance, will you be the one who decides how your life unfolds, or will you “drive ‘round in circles”, waiting for some mythical “they to decide things for you.
More is lost by indecision than by wrong decision, believe me.