If there’s one canoe trip that sticks in my memory above all others, it’s the time I went on a weekend trip in the Canadian wilderness, just me and my pal Tetley.
if you really want to find your way, you might just have to be prepared to get lost!
It’s memorable not only because it was a beautiful autumn weekend with fall colours in full swing; not only because the weather was spectacular (except for the heavy downpour at night); not only because of the delicious French toast breakfast I made in the morning, complete with real maple syrup … it’s memorable because we got really, really lost.
And that taught me one of the best life lessons I could have ever asked for.
It started when I took a wrong turn on the drive up as I was looking for the boat launch. The next wrong turn happened at the far end of the first lake on my way to the first portage trail.
Then, because the inlets in real life don't look quite like they do on the map, I paddled right past the little bay I should have turned into. As I was beginning to lose daylight, I couldn't find the last portage trail at all and ended up bushwhacking my way through the forest with a canoe on my head.
When I finally settled into my campsite and I was reflecting on the day, I realized that it was all good. Even better than good, it may just have been another one of the most valuable life lessons I’ve ever learned.
You see, like the maps I studied before my trip, you can read a digital shelf-full of business books, take a bunch of self-help workshops, and hire the best so-called experts who think they know what you should do ... but, it isn't until you're out there paddling, one stroke after the other, that you truly learn what works for you and what doesn't.
I had explored areas that I never would have seen if I had not gotten lost. But, what I really found was a profound sense of resourcefulness and self-reliance that continues to serve me in life, on and off the water.
So, if you really want to find your way, you might just have to be prepared to get lost!
Have you ever experienced a time in your life, profession, or business where you got lost, only to look back on it and see it as one of the best things that ever happened to you?
Yes, let me know!
Speaker, Author, Trainer, Storyteller
Michel Neray is a 20-year veteran as an international speaker, and has helped thousands of salespeople, coaches, consultants, entrepreneurs, speakers, and senior executives become more influential and effective through Inside-Out Storytelling & Speaking.