Why do we get lost? When the connection between our map, compass and alarm is broken, we get lost. It’s the broken connection. The map that you build could be of the highest moral standard or it could be totally self serving. When the compass and the map lose connection altogether, youcan become disoriented. Even worse, when there is no connection at all between your compass and alarm, you don’t even know you’re lost, until you are completely lost.
So, where does your belief system, or map, come from? For some of you, it’s the standards, morals, customs, ethics from the society in which you were raised. For others, it’s the religion followed and practiced from youth into adulthood. For many, it’s your family who taught you right from wrong and good from bad. But for most, it’s a combination of all these factors that formed the rules they live by, right or wrong.
What if you had no strong moral fiber in your youth. There were no pages written by your family or society, other than those that were self-serving. You could easily navigate through life with a bad map and a broken compass.Without a moral map you jump from experience to experience, learning many of the wrong lessons. Each time, you are in uncharted territory, without a clear way forward.
When you look back after straying off the right path, the path you made is gone. It’s grown over by time and your missteps. You don’t know how you got there and haven’t the slightest clue which way is home. The few moral lessons you left behind have been scattered by the chaos and confusion that is your world today. You look for the right path, but it’s nowhere to be found. There’s no path ahead and none behind. You feel lost and confused. The pages in your book were the markers of your decisions made by reaction rather than reason.
A few of the pages left on your life’s journey might have shown you the way back, but back to where or what? Back to where you came from? Maybe. Back to where you started? Possibly. But what if you came from a broken home or from a group of individuals that had no morals? There would be no sane place to go back to, no ethical model to filter your decisions through.
Along your journey you are faced with many decisions that arise from problems or opportunities. You might make these decisions in three very different ways.
When you don’t know which path to choose, sometimes you just guess and pick one. No rhyme, no reason, you just take door number one. Because there was no filtering process in your decision making, there is no process learned that can be repeated. So, there are no important pages left behind to show you the way.
The second way you might make decisions is greed. “I will make the choice that benefits me the most.” A lot of bad decisions are made in these two processes. Let me explain. Your decisions and actions, as you travel through life, write a line or even a page in your book. A page can become a marker of the path once taken and the decisions once made.
The third way you might make decisions is by following a standard or code. A code defining who you are and what you believe. Some might call it a belief system. Every time you make a decision by filtering it through your belief system it strengthens your resolve and it lays down a marker on your life map.
A life lived without a belief system has no process, other than chance and selfishness. It leaves no marks on your map that can be easily followed by showing you the way back or the way forward.
Any markers left are just bread crumbs and will be scattered by the wind or eaten by the birds. A weak map is covered with lost travelers. You will need a belief system that builds a strong map. But that isn’t enough. You will need an alarm that warns when you have strayed off course.
Your belief system or life map is housed in your head, but your warning system or alarm is in your stomach.
Connect with them both. Follow one and listen to the other.