Clients keep telling me the same thing. They know where they want to go. They can see it in technicolor. But the thought “I don’t know how to get there,” paralyzes them.
Unlike the result, which they see with absolute clarity, they are unclear on the route to their aspirations. As a result, they stay stuck, paralyzed by inaction. The only place it takes them is more of the same.
There is a way out.
What if I told you I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I’ve got the address. But, the thing is, I don’t know how to get there. I bet you’d have an easy answer: plug it into my GPS. This is true for my clients who are lost about what to do.
We all carry with us our own personal GPS.
Our personal GPS draws on two infallible sources of wisdom: intuition and universal guidance. There are many words for the latter, including Source, God, or the Divine; take your pick. I like to use “universe.
A person’s skill at utilizing their internal GPS will be one of the biggest determinants of that person’s success.
Here’s a quick guide to leveraging your own personal GPS to achieve your aspirations.
First, let’s talk about what your GPS really is. Like its phone app counterpart, your GPS allows you to input a destination, and it automagically finds the best route to get you there. It then offers step-by-step directions along the way, efficiently guiding you to your destination.
Programming Your GPS
With your own personal GPS, you program it by setting a goal or an intention. A goal (say programming an address into your phone) would be a very specific destination. “I want to make $x by such-and-such a date.” “I want to lose 25 lbs. this year.” “I want to run a half marathon this fall.”
You can also program your GPS to find something more general (we’ll call this an intention). On your phone, you might ask where you can find ice cream or gas. With your inner GPS, you might ask, “How can I feel more satisfied with life?” or “How can I improve my relationship with my partner?”
Once you’ve programmed your inner GPS with an intention or a specific goal, something amazing happens. Your brain goes to work to bring about its fulfillment. Your brain, behind the scenes, does most of the heavy lifting. By programming your GPS, you have attuned your brain to certain circumstances. You’ve told it what to look for.
Now it will conspire to bring about the results you’ve requested. I like to think that even the universe gets involved, conspiring on your behalf.
Just like the GPS on your phone, part of this process will involve giving you some specific instructions to follow to bring you toward your aspiration.
But you have to do the work!
Have you ever noticed that the GPS on your phone becomes kind of snarky when you don’t follow directions? I don’t know how this is possible, but I SWEAR that the lady inside my GPS, I call her Natalie, gets miffed when I ignore her. I blow past the turn she has recommended, and she comes back with, “turn right on 17th Avenue.” I can hear that’s she annoyed with me. Remember back in the old days when our GPSes got mad and said (with a fair amount of attitude) “Rerouting!”
Nobody likes to be ignored. Not Natalie, or Siri, or your internal GPS. So, the golden rule with your inner GPS is, if you are going to use it, then don’t ignore it.
The tricky thing about our internal GPS is that its directions are not always as clear as your phone’s GPS. So, attending to your internal GPS takes more effort.
Tuning Into Your GPS
First, your GPS is always working and as a consequence, many of us have learned to tune it out. It can be annoying, especially when you think you already know the way to go.
Meditation and grounding exercises are two ways that you can tune in to your inner GPS. Both approaches quiet the internal chatter so you can hear the GPS’s guidance. Distractions and mental clutter are one foe of the GPS.
The other adversary is the ego. The ego prides itself on being important, in being the one with the answers. Having the right answers is sometimes straightforward when we are talking about linear and simple cause-and-effect situations. When are things are linear, we can count on 1+1 equaling 2.
This can fall apart in more dynamic situations.
Let’s look at the complexities of commuting to work. Do you want to stop along the way? Do you want to take the scenic route? Or avoid an accident or road construction? Your canny use of the device and the app’s algorithms will determine the optimal route for you, updating you with new information to yield the best results.
If you’ve set a complex destination, like earning more money than you did last year, the ego might let you down. It is biased toward repeating what’s worked in the past. It will think: “Okay, last year we did x, y, z and made $85K. To get to $100K, we just need to do it more of x, y, z and do it faster and bigger.” That is seldom the true formula for success, especially if you feel you are already working full out. Instead of more, faster, bigger, you likely need “more targeted,” “higher quality,” “more value added” to scale up your business. The ego gets tripped up here, but this is where the GPS excels.
So, once you’ve programmed the GPS, the thing to do is release the ego and center into a different way of knowing and listening.
One of the best approaches to doing this that I’ve encountered comes from Deepak Chopra’s classic The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. He prescribes a five-step process. It’s a bit esoteric, but I’ve found it works. Sometimes when we embrace mystery without trying to solve it, we get miraculous results. Remember, that resistance is your ego saying things like, “How is that going to work?”
Here is Deepak’s step-by-step process, along with my explanation of each step.
- Slip into the gap. This means to enter that space that exists between thoughts. It’s an elusive space, but just realizing that it is there opens the door-way to accessing that space. This is like the difference between the thinker and the thought. At some level, you probably have an awareness of yourself as the thinker of your thoughts. Some people, for example Buddhists, call this thinker the “observer”. This is why I advocated meditation or grounding earlier. It will help you find your identity as the thinker.
- Established in that state of Being, release your intentions and desires. So, once you find that place of no-thought, just thinker, this is where you release your intentions and desires. Or, to follow my metaphor, here’s where you program in your destination.
- Remain in the state of self-referral. This has to do with staying in that identity of the thinker. Deepak further explains it as your “connection to the field of pure potentiality.” Pure potentiality is where all things are possible; anything that you can imagine is available for manifestation.
- Relinquish your attachment to the outcome. This may sound surprising, but it’s a helpful prescription for goal achievement. Our attachment to the outcome causes the ego to step in and try to control things. We get tight and lose access to the creativity and resourcefulness that comes from remaining light. Being attached to the outcome can also cut us off from the possibility of something even better evolving.
- Let the universe handle the details. This is my favorite part. I first read The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success back in 1994, and this phrase has remained as a mantra for me ever since. Letting the universe take care of the details is the essence of what I mean by programming your internal GPS. Trust that it will inform you of the details, the specific steps that you need to take. You don’t have to figure out. You just have set that intention and then allow yourself to go with the flow. The more you can cultivate practices like meditation or grounding, the more easily you will hear this guidance.
My friends, you have access to the wisdom that knows exactly what steps you can take to realize all of your dreams. By holding the intent or setting the goal, you program that infallible system: your internal GPS. The only thing you need to do is center yourself into the guidance and follow its call.
I’m Kira Swanson, a mindset coach for writers. I help writers master their mental game so that they can focus on what they love: writing. I help my clients to tap their inner source of motivation and inspiration, create the time to write, and quash the self-doubt that plagues so many creatives so that they can finally finish that draft.