My kids ask about the olden days, "You know, like back in the 1900's." There are moment as we laugh that we realize there are reference points and resources which they will have no frame work to comprehend. One such resource that we used in the days long before was the Thomas Guide, do you remember these? We tale for granted that you now can instantaneous directions that are interactive and will talk you through the intricacies of your journey. In the days before cell phones and data applications were a ubiquitous accessory, you used to have to sit down at your computer to print your directions from programs such as Mapquest. People complain that Siri get's them lost, those same people should force themselves to navigate with line item directions while traversing through rush hour traffic.
Prior to the Thomas Guide, there were maps. Maps were created as a by product of natural selection in an effort to thin the population either by getting them lost where they could not be found, distracted from driving or to tear families apart arguing over which minuscule turn off was the shortest route. Maps were sold in a compact folded form that you could never get them back into without tearing or throwing into the glove box in a condition twice the purchased size. Imagine driving with a fold out that could fill the drivers compartment trying to read size 6 font in the dark to reach your destination - it makes it rather comical that some crusaders believe cell phones are the first and/or only incarnation of distracted driving. Imagine family trips with no seat belts, no air conditioning and navigating from parchment paper.
Needless to say, when the Thomas Guide came out, the world of travel for business and for pleasure became so much more compact and concise. The Thomas Guide had a reference index, you would look up your street and be provided an page as well as index from which you could begin to construct your routes. As crazy as it sounds, in metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, California, with the Thomas Guide you could more readily re-navigate when there were traffic jams because you could focus in on the area you were headed to rather than having to mess with a the jumbled monstrosity of a large paper map. The world was still un-chartered waters but the Thomas Guide made you feel like you could master the seas, or at least not get so lost that you would be left to die in the expanse with your only friend being a volleyball.
Where are we going with this? First, I wanted to share a story about the Thomas Guide with you young-ins who have never heard of such a thing. Secondly, navigation is an essential component of exploration as it relates to achieving your personal and professional goals. Technology has advanced and you may be able to master the latest and greatest electronic gadgets but that doesn't mean you understand how to navigate your journey, connect with the best resources or conquer your ambitions. Mentorship is a catch phrase in the current economy and yet connecting the pieces is harder than it sounds even though we have so many collaboration opportunities. As discussed previously, discussion among peers can be a powerful resource (HERE), like a planned summer vacation the search for ideas and tips can start with sharing with others where you want to visit, what you hope to see as well as asking if others have been where you are trying to go. If you have been frustrated in your search for mentorship - 1) you are not alone, 2) don't give up as it is a worthwhile pursuit and 3) don't discount the network that you have that can help keep you accountable to your vision (The Power of Discussion). Another great place to start is Write It Down.
Let us know what you have learned about navigation and mentorship. Connect. Collaborate. Conquer.
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Jon Isaacson has a monthly feature column with Restoration & Remediation (R&R) Magazine titled The Intentional Restorer