Monday, January 7, 2008

Making changes

On my last birthday, I was lucky enough to receive a Garmin GPS. I was familiar with the operation of a GPS from friends who had them, but this was the first time I actually had one in my vehicle working on my behalf. This one arrived in my life just as we were about to head to NYC for a trade show, presenting a great opportunity to put my new back seat driver to the test. Up until that point I had depended on maps, and more recently on Mapquest. Last summer, I took a trip to New Jersey with David and my mom and dad using a set of directions that I'd printed on Mapquest. As we got closer to our destination, my father and I had a bit of a control episode. I was driving and I wanted to follow the Mapquest directions. He was navigating and wanted us to go the way that he had always gone. Since I was driving I prevailed, or so I thought. When we got to our hotel, my dad let me know that he was still very much in control, in a way that only a father can communicate with his son. This was my first sign that change for a male member of my family is not always an easy thing, especially when it involves driving. More recently, on our trip to New York we made good use of the GPS, especially when we made a wrong turn coming into New Jersey via the Lincoln Tunnel and ended up in a bad part of town. Initially we chose the British lady to guide us, but found her tone to be a little bossy, so we switched to the American woman, who seemed a little more detached, and markedly more excitable about reaching our destination. We tried using the the GPS to get around Manhattan on foot, but found that we couldn't connect with the satellites too readily, probably because of all the tall buildings. Unfortunately when we left the city by car, I left the GPS thinking that we were on foot, so we were directed the wrong way down a one way street, but once we corrected that little problem we were back on the right track in no time at all. More recently, I used the GPS to direct me out of Toronto. Starting at Yonge & St. Clair, my GPS lady suggested that I take Yonge Street to the 401. For years I have taken St. Clair to Moore Avenue to Bayview, to the DVP, to the 401. I couldn't believe how difficult I found it to make this change in my routing, but I did it, and I believe it was faster, as promised by GPS lady. Change is a good thing, but they say changing a habit takes 21 days. My suggestion, challenge yourself to change one little thing you do everyday, something as simple as the direction that you brush your teeth in. Then, work up to the bigger things. Look at me, the control freak giving advice on change!

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