Find a guide
Even with a good map, sometimes it is still difficult to find your way. When you write your bucket list and adjust your course with your moral compass, sometimes you still can use some help getting to where you want to go. Maybe your path takes you through some uncharted waters or a fire bog (à la The Princess Bride). This is where having one or more guides really starts to shine. Someone who has been there can show you the ropes and help a great deal in getting to where you need to go.
How Guides Help
Mountain climbers really know the value of a good guide. The world-famous Sherpas have been guiding people up and down Mount Everest since Tanzig Norgay guided famous the Hillary expedition to the summit in 1953. They are widely recognized as experts in their high altitude terrain and can take any prepared and equipped person where they want to go. Why do people take Sherpas on expeditions in the Himalayas? They know that if they go it alone, even with a good map, they are not likely to succeed. The way to the peak is littered with obstacles that can cause even the well-prepared adventurer to turn back. A good guide has seen these dangers hundreds of times and knows how to mitigate the risk.
In more mundane matters, guides are just as helpful. Many betrothed couples seek the advice of married couples as they embark on a journey to experience life together. Athletes of all levels work with coaches to improve their effectiveness on the field. People with big decisions to make will look for others who have had similar experiences to help them find the pitfalls and maximize their chances for success.
Where to find your guide
Guides of all kinds are available for any endeavor. At the most basic level, your friends and family serve as guides. While you might miss their influence, friends and family have tons of influence on what you do. They are usually the first to hear your plans and offer support or criticism. In the early stages of life, many of your guides will be teachers. As you go to school, they show you the ropes of learning and try to prepare you for navigating the waters of society as an adult.
Friends of friends help more than probably any other group of people. Need help learning the skills you need for a hobby? Ask your friends if they know any mountain bikers or rock climbers or painters. Chances are good that someone does and that they would love a new friend. Social media makes these kinds of things even easier.
For regular old living life needs, I look to the previous generation. There is nothing new under the sun, so someone I know has had to make similar decisions to mine. I try to find a friend that I already have a relationship with who seems to have things together and ask them how they got there. Most people who I have asked have been very happy to help out.
Get out there
Who can you talk to today about being a guide? It doesn’t have to be a long-term formal relationship for you to both benefit from it. Pick one of your bucket list items that you are not sure how to complete and find a guide to help you. Do it today so that it doesn’t have time to get covered up by the urgent things that always drown out the important things when we aren’t careful.
Don’t stop at finding your guide. Grab your map, pick up your compass, speak with your guide and start moving towards your goals!
(Thanks for reading! Where else do you look for guides?)
Photo by: Cezar Martins