Vail Valley: Navigating life: Trust your personal GPS |

Vail Valley: Navigating life: Trust your personal GPS

Don’t you just love it when you program the GPS in your car and the route is communicated both in a lovely voice and also depicted graphically on the screen? It usually makes the trip so easy and eliminates stress for the driver, passenger, and all back seat drivers.

But sometimes, that lovely voice starts to sound a little terse as she utters those most pleasant of words – “re-calculating route” – like she somehow thinks we missed our turn on purpose. And when we miss the “first available u-turn” we once again receive the “re-calculating route” message, half expecting to hear the additional word, “again.”

There are times I use my GPS just as a check and balance, making sure that where I think I am headed is where I want to be going.

However, in one recent road trip, my GPS and I had a complete difference of opinion. I had a general sense of where I was headed although I hadn’t been there is over a year. So I was confident as I started the drive. My confidence increased as I programmed my GPS, you know, just to make sure. And then for the next two and a half hours, it was game on, man against machine.

As the voice echoed, “re-calculating route” over and over and over again, I knew that the machine was wrong, very wrong. So I trusted my instincts, maintained my course, and arrived at my destination. When I looked at upon my arrival just to make sure I took the fastest and easiest route possible, I was once again reassured that I had indeed made the right decisions along the way.

It made me wonder though – how often do I use my own “internal” GPS when making other decisions in my life? Although I know what I should be doing, do I always follow my own instincts or do I try to get direction and input from others? For me, just as I like to have the security blanket of my GPS even though I believe I know where I am going, I also like to bounce ideas and situations off people I trust.

But at the end of the day, it is incumbent on me to make the decision that is best for my personal life, my business life, and my spiritual life, trusting my internal GPS to lead me during times of uncertainty and indecision.

We have to do the same for our children, our friends and our employees. Sometimes they need to use us as their GPS, as they seek guidance and assistance in their endeavors. Yet other times, especially if we want them to grow, we need to encourage them to trust their own internal GPS. They may very well hear from us and from their own head and heart to “re-calculate route,” and that’s OK. Who among us hasn’t had to make a course correction – or several course corrections – in life? It’s how we learn and how we grow, both personally and professionally.

I would love to hear about how you trust your internal GPS at I hope it guides you into making it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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