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Asking For Directions

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Asking for directions
About Us - Dr Colin Dicks

Dr. Colin Dicks

MBChB, FRANZCR, MBA, MSc Palliative Medicine.
March 9, 2022

Asking For Directions

Have you ever got lost?

Asking For Directions: I recently managed to get well and truly lost using satellite navigation and following Susan’s mechanical voice. With confidence, Susan took me from “the known” to the “very unknown” parts of Brisbane. I realised that my canned journey had come to an end when I kept going around in circles. So much for technology!

But was it really technology’s fault? After all, it was my journey. I had ownership of where I wanted to go. I should have had a backup plan. A map perhaps or even more unlikely,

“Asking for directions!”

Asking for directions is worse than being lost. After all, being lost is a private affair, no one knows or cares and it is quite easy to remain lost. It is only when being lost impacts on the task of a duty or has financial implications that it becomes particularly inconvenient. After all, if I had unlimited resources and time, I could continue driving up and down the same road all my life.

As ridiculous as it sounds we sometimes do this in life.

Without having any idea about where we are or where we are going we do the same things in life, over and over, without asking for directions. We make the same mistakes. We cover the same ground. If we do it long enough we convince others and ourselves that we know where we are going, because Susan, the artificial navigator, said so.

The way out of the dilemma is to ask for directions, but this is not without personal risk. It requires three painful steps.

1.Admit You Got it Wrong.

As much as it may seem unpalatable or impossible we have to take step one. It is impossible to ask for directions without first accepting that we are lost. Blame who you may but to get “unlost” requires a change in the previous way of thinking.

2. Ask.

This is even worse than admitting we are wrong. It is to admit that someone else may be right. It requires submission to the opinion of someone else and then step three.


Follow the new directions. Don’t trust the voice of Susan, she is unreliable and if she got you lost once, she can do it again. To get ‘unlost’ requires a new action, so just do it!

Why is Asking for Directions Difficult?

The problem of asking for directions is that reveals our secret pride. It shines the light on our obvious deficiencies. So what? We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. Getting lost is no big deal; we have all done it at some time in the past. Remaining lost is worse than getting lost.

The benefit of asking for directions is that it allows the journey to continue. It offers the hope of reaching a destination successfully and completing the purpose of the journey.

In your life, what is your final destination and purpose? Have you got lost and are you being suckered into believing Susan’s seductive voice? If you are unsure about where you are, all you need to do is ask for directions. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Ask your doctor about the details of your care. Ask your family and friends for their opinion. Ask your financial advisors, lawyers and professors for advise if you must. Consider asking God for directions. What do you have to lose?

I know I won’t be asking Susan to get me home. I hope you make it home safely. Feel free to ask if you need directions.

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