7 Ways a Life Plan Is Like a GPS System

Several months ago, I published an ebook called Creating Your Personal Life Plan. I made it available as a free PDF download for readers who subscribed to my blog via email. So far more than 30,000 people have done so.

Illustration of a Stylized GPS Device - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Pleasureofart, Image #16270870

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Pleasureofar

However, I have had numerous requests to make the book available in Kindle, Nook, and iBook formats. Unfortunately, the original landscape cover didn’t convert well to portrait. This has required me to reformat the ebook.

As a result, I designed several new covers and then polled my readers. I went through three rounds of covers (1, 2, and 3). Over 4,000 of my readers voted. They were very passionate about which option they preferred and why.

Ultimately, the GPS cover won, taking 56 percent of the final vote. Those that objected to the GPS cover said that they didn’t think that a GPS device was a good metaphor for life planning.

No metaphor is perfect, of course. They all break down at some point. But, I actually think a GPS system works pretty well. Here are seven ways it corresponds to a life plan.

  1. A GPS requires you to input your destination. Nothing happens until you decide where you want to go. The same is true of a life plan. It forces you to determine the outcomes in each of your major life categories. This is the first section in the life plan.
  2. A GPS gets you to your destination faster with less hassle. I am directionally-challenged. Without technical help, I get lost quickly. My TomTom Navigation System gets me to my destination without the stress of trying to figure it out on my own. The same is true of a life plan.
  3. A GPS gives you constant feedback on your progress. I always know the street I am on, how far I must travel to the next turn, and how far to my ultimate destination. A life plan is similar. It tells me where I am in relation to where I want to go. It provides the context and keeps me oriented.
  4. A GPS helps you get back on track when you get off. Even with a GPS I take the occasional wrong turn. The system never chides me. It simply tells me what I need to do to get back on track. Same with a life plan. It gives me a reference point, so I know how to get to my destination.
  5. A GPS re-routes you around roadblocks. It is inevitable that you will encounter obstacles on the way to your destination. A good GPS is able to adjust on the fly and recalculate the route. The same is true of a life plan. It provides the flexibility to overcome obstacles and keep moving forward.
  6. A GPS is not always accurate. This is not surprising. It’s a challenge for GPS databases to keep up with all the changes: new roads, closed roads, traffic accidents, etc. The same is true of your life plan. You won’t always get it right. You will have to adjust as you encounter reality. A life plan gives you a framework for doing that.
  7. A GPS requires an investment. I used to pay $12.99 a day for the Hertz Never Lost system on my rental car. It was worth every penny. However, I finally wised up and bought the TomTom app for my iPhone. It was $49.99. It paid for itself quickly. A life plan is similar. It does require an upfront investment of time. But the rewards are well-worth it.

Again, the metaphor is not perfect. It breaks down at several points. But all in all, I think works pretty well. It does its job as a metaphor.

By the way, I am still working on the revised version of the e-book. I have decided to revise some of the content as well as the cover. Hopefully, the new edition will be available in the next few weeks. I will automatically notify everyone who downloaded the first edition.

Question: How else do you think a life plan is like a GPS? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    “You will have to adjust as you encounter reality.” Love that statement. I have learned so much from your wisdom through your blog. Thrilled God has blessed you with such a gift as leadership. Thanks.

  • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

    Great question..

    A GPS gives you a high level of certainty, not so much about where you’re going, but where you are, right now, in relation to the real world. That awareness doesn’t come from planning itself – but from mapping your position in relation to the plan (which is the world we’re looking to create). The question for me – is how do we map or measure our current position, in relation to the real world.. feedback, being honest about where we are, ourselves and our results..

    A GPS is constantly active – not a ‘once at the beginning and once at the end thing’.. Back to the incremental change – monitoring small changes and progress, rather than simply asking ‘am I there yet?’..

    Thanks Michael,
    Paul.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Paul. This is why it’s important it review your life plan regularly, so that you can constantly see where you are in relationship to where you want to be.

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

    Love this, Michael.

    Love the metaphor… right on target. Or should I say course…

  • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

    Another similarity between the GPS system and the Life Plan is the fact that many people just don’t feel like they need one.  

    These are the people who do not stop and ask for directions.  They would prefer to wander around until they find what they are looking for or settle for what they find.  

    They don’t really have (or want) a plan.  They even think it is weak or silly to have one and may even scoff at someone who does!

    Of course, they are also the ones that are usually late for the party!  You can normally hear them off on the side making excuses about wrong turns and bad traffic or blaming someone else for bad directions.

    I am NOT one of those people!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is a great parallel! Thanks.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    A GPS requires batteries or a power source. If the batteries go dead, the GPS is worthless. In real life, we need to recharge our batteries on a daily basis. If we don’t get enough sleep and eat nutritious food, we won’t have any energy. Without energy, our life plan is useless.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good parallel, John. Thanks.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Tony Schwartz has a lot of great info on the topic of energy at the http://www.theenergyproject.com/ Great resource.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I really have enjoyed his books.

        • http://golfwisdomlife.com Larry Galley

          Thanks for the lead John.  Larry Galley

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          Looks like a great resource John. Can’t wait to see what I can learn from him.

  • Mriekena

    MY most common nav tool is the mall directory. Seriously. I shop on a mission. My goal is in and out – and I set a timer just for fun – just to see how fast I can find/acquire/and get onto “next”.

    Life plans, GPS systems, and mall directories all establish (or help to establish) two vital navigation points. I am HERE. and Destination is (other) HERE. Aha! Now I know exactly the best way to go, and I know better when I am OFF track too. I didn’t vote, but I LOVE the analogy.

  • Mike Buenaventura

    I dont believe you could have said it any better.

  • Leadershipcoach Daniel

    The term “Recalculating” is one that speaks to me. When my best made plans lead down the wrong road it is my opportunity to learn, receive feedback. & change course. The thing I appreciate is that there is always another route available if I will take the time to learn from where I’ve been & “recalculate”.

    • http://golfwisdomlife.com Larry Galley

      I like to call these “wrong turn situations” learning turns.  Larry Galley

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    Going along with your first point, if you put nothing in you will get nothing out. The device cannot get you where you want to go if you do not input your destination. Often times you need to know more than just the name of a city, you need an address which may require you to do a small amount of research to find. The life plan works like that. If you do not put much work into it, you will not get much out of it. I am finally so close to “finishing” mine. It is amazing at how accomplished I feel. This week I spent time going over it all again and then moving on to the final parts and I kept thinking “oh yeah, I want that! That is where I want to go!” Even in the last week I had forgotten exactly where I was going and how I envisioned getting there.

  • http://golfwisdomlife.com Larry Galley

    I love the metaphor.  What you have done in this piece, via the GPS metaphor, is outline core qualities of a good leader.  Beautiful.  Larry Galley

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I had not thought about that, Larry, but I think you are right.

  • Jack Lynady

    Nice read. My friend Gary Barkalow teaches on Calling. He describes how a GPS uses three satellites to “triangulate” your position. To orient to your Calling u need to triangulate the three points of Story, Desire, and Journey. Dialing into that has been huge for me. You can check out thenobleheart.com for more.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have heard Gary lecture before at the “Wild at Heart Bootcamp.” He was terrific.

  • Anonymous

    …glad you went with the GPS

    …looking forward to meeting you Sunday afternoon up in Vail

    …it promises to be an amazing week, next week, at the Dynamic Communicators Workshop

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      See you then, Wes.

  • Jtrentboyd

    On long trips I particular like the alternate routes option. There seasons of life where taking the scenic route might seem ineffective. At other times it becomes a necessity. Life plans should allow for smelling the roses. This may be similar to your point regarding obstacles but with shades if difference.

  • http://www.producewithpassion.com Dan McCoy

    Thanks for a great life analogy Michael. My good friend Glenn Morshower from 24, says it this way. “God put you on a road, a path. It’s called life. He gave us education and abundant opportunities, tools and people to help guide us along that path. When you get on a highway to head somewhere, you can’t go wrong by staying on that path. It’s when we think we ate smarter than Him that we wander and get lost. Too many forget to live life in the present, and they drive through life looking in the rearview mirror.” well thats my heavily editorialized version of a conversation we had a few months back.

  • Anonymous

    Every once in a while, you need to recharge your battery.  

  • http://www.ivanhoesanchez.com Ivanhoe Sánchez

    These are great news for me.  I love how you constantly try to give your readers the best.  Great content at no cost, always.  You have helped me a great deal with your Life Plan and your blog.  Now with the new format I will have more handy.   Thanks you, thank you.  I cannot help telling you once more:  THANK YOU.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words!

  • Greg Gilbert

    Once you get used to it, it will be very difficult to go without it and you will wonder why you waited so long to get one.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great parallel, too.

  • Sue Hilla Clifford

    My problem is determining my destination….as with my GPS, I need to input a destination in order for the GPS to direct me…I”m 53 years old and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up…..So, I’m going on a personal retreat in a few weeks and planning to work through the Life Plan exercise. I am so grateful for your willingness to share your wisdom! Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. I pray that you get some clarity. Figuring out the destination is most of the battle.

  • Sue

    Oops! Correction–I’m seeking to find out what GOD wants me to be when I grow up!

  • Peter Austin

    When you are by yourself, you can talk to it, reflect, chide, speak the truth, and not worry about hurting feelings.

  • Perry

    mr. H
    another observation regarding gps/life plan comparison; if there were two data bases for gps’s, an accurate one and an inaccurate one you would need to make sure your gps was infulenced by the accurate one. Especially so if the inaccurate one had what appeared to be just minor discrepencies in navigation but huge advantages (like free coupons for a peanut malt for every 100 miles you drive). Life plans are like that too. if they are not influenced by the Truth, it may be fun along the way but you wont end up in the place you were hoping to

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I loved this breakdown on why you went with the GPS cover. I was wondering why the drastic change from the sailboat to the GPS. Now I can see the reasoning behind the choice.

    Another way that a GPS is like a life plan is that once you have it, it is always there for you and you have the choice to follow it or not.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s true. With a GPS, I have the confidence to occasionally wander form the designated route, knowing I get can right back on and arrive at my destination.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Another way that a GPS is like a life plan is that once you have it, it
      is always there for you and you have the choice to follow it or not.

      Well said!

  • http://twitter.com/JobCoachHQ Douglas Andrews

    I think your metaphor works great!  I am constantly laughing in my car about how I have to get a GPS!  I think I could make a similar metaphor as how it relates to getting a job on my blog.
    Michael, do you mind if I borrow your metaphor and use it as it relates to getting a job?  I will certainly refer to you and your blog as my source of inspiration.  Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Sure. Have at it!

  • http://twitter.com/jamespinnick7 James Pinnick

    I downloaded the version a few weeks back. I have not read it yet but it is on my book counter. I’m excited to see what you have to say and how I can apply it in my life. I appreciate you.

    James
    Author-The Last Seven Pages
    http://www.jamespinnick.com

  • http://www.theinspiredbudget.com Tanya

    In my experience, GPSes and things like Google maps have a HIGH degree of failure and unreliability. You have to know how to think for yourself, use common sense and find alternatives when these tools fail you – and those skills are essential in navigating your way through life. You have to know how to deviate from the “plan” – or whatever wrong information your GPS gives you – so you can reach your goals and destination.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Personally, I haven’t had that experience. As someone who is directionally-challenged, anything is better than relying on my own efforts. Regardless, you do have to use common sense and adjust when the plan fails. Good point!

    • Firefishe

      I am involved in a GPS sport called “Geocaching” (www.geocaching.com).  Essentially a high-tech treasure hunt, the gist of it is you go online, find a ‘cache’ you want to hunt, get the coordinates (Lat./Long.), enter them into your GPS, and away you go!

      The trick to geocaching, however, is to be able to observe your surroundings, and understand what it is you’re looking at.  Geocaches are sometimes very small, and–at least after you’ve been geocaching for a while–you begin to see certain aspects of locations that may be giveaways to the cache location.

      The bump on a branch that looks a little out of place, may be a sub-micro cache, consisting of a mini-cylinder with a magnet, attached to the tree via a thumbtack.  (These actually exist, I’ve found a few, myself…in the winter!)

      Being Observant In Life is the metaphor here.  As in Geocaching, being observant of one’s surroundings, and knowing, from experience, where to look for one’s own personal treasures, is the key to finding fulfillment, joy, and happiness! :-)

      Geocaching gives me great joy, as it allows me to be outside and breathing fresh air, while using my brain a bit, as well.  I find this combination suitable for my kind of happiness:  atheletic/cerebral.

      I wish everyone here the joy in finding your own true joys and fulfillments!

      Sincerely,
      Firefishe

  • http://toddridgeway.vemma.com Todd

    FAITH – Without faith in the GPS one would not follow its instructions.  Likewise, a person will require faith in their Life Plan before they will truly exert the effort to achieve it.

  • Anonymous

    If you could just figure out how I can get a female with a british accent to give me turn by turn directions for my life plan then you would really be onto something.

    • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

      Now that was funny!

      My wife said she would pay serious money for a GPS with Matthew McConaughey’s voice giving the directions! 

      • Firefishe

         I think there was some type of effort to have celebrities’ voice-overs available.  I’d check it out!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Now you have me thinking about marketing!

    • Firefishe

       Garmin has that option available for downloading for certain of their automotive gps units.  British Female.  No kidding!

  • http://highpointchurch.us Andrew VanDerLinden

    I’m looking forward to seeing the final product.

  • Dave M

    Mike,

    One other thing about a GPS is that it requires a signal from above.    The fact that we need guidance from above is another aspect you could use.

    And when that signal gets weak, the plan does not work as well, or may just quit.  We need to make sure we don’t get blocked by the “forest” of this busy world and make sure we have a clear signal from above.

    Dave M 

    • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

      Great point, Dave!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is a GREAT parallel. Love it!

    • Anonymous

      Marvelous point.

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    This just happened to me yesterday. I was speaking downtown in a large city. To find my way out, I had planned on my GPS to lead the way. Actually – I was not prepared for it’s silence!  There was no signal because of the large buildings.

    Life can be overwhelming. At times we lose the signal. We feel lost. What is the way out of my situation? 

    #1  don’t panic. God is still there
    #2  walk by faith not by sight
    #3  Don’t get paralyzed by fear – I started driving- even if it was the wrong direction, I was seeking the right way – finally the signal was clear and I could ‘relocate.”

    God hears our prayers and His timing is perfect.

    I look forward to reading your book Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great illustration. Thank you for sharing it. There are so many nuances to this!

    • Firefishe

       Also, one could also use one’s iPhone or Android or Symbian phone with maps to find one’s place in the city’s “steel canyons.”  Phones usually use triangulation from the cell towers, and sometimes “dead reckoning” electronics inside the phone, to help direction keeping stay alive if losing the signal temporarily.

      Mariners use “dead reckoning”–a type of navigation in one takes one’s last known position, makes a “best guess,” then continues on the course that one believes to be best.  When the fog lifts, and you find yourself, more or less where you thought you were, dead reckoning has worked.  If you hit the reef and sink, well….*splash!* ;-)

      Consulting a good map before going into a major city–especially county or city maps, specifically–can save a lot of time and headaches.  Maps don’t need batteries, and you can always refer back to them when your GPS unit isn’t receiving the signals.

      Oh, one other GPS quirk:  Multipath.  This is when satellite signals get reflected off of buildings, leaves, giant clam shells, what-have-you. ;-)  They cause error in the displayed signal, so your trusty GPS may be off occasionally from multipath signals.

      Other people sometimes share information that distracts us from our own true path in life.  We need to be aware of this, and use discrimination and discernment to know if something is moving us off the course.

      GPS units often have a Course Arrow on the compass page.  This consists of an arrow, with little dots to the left or right.  The arrow, or part of it, moves to the left or right when you’re off course.  The idea is to keep moving in a straight line, and keep the arrow centered.

      When one is grounded and centered in thought, word, and deed, life is much more enjoyable–and easier.

      Blessings,
      Firefishe

  • http://blogan.net Brent Logan

    The GPS analogy is useful for reaching goals, but sometimes the process or the “travelling” is as important as the destination.

    Don’t be afraid of “recalculating.” I’ve found that some of my most important life experiences were the unplanned ones: the loss of job, the accident, the serious illness. These experiences allowed me to develop understanding and empathy better than reading any book or following any LCD screen ever could.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree. I actually recommend (in the book) that people revise their plan quarterly. Sometimes, this involves minor tweaking; other times, it requires major revision.

  • Rob Sorbo

    I saw a few other comments below about the voice on the GPS, but here’s my take on that. 

    I prefer to leave my GPS on mute, but I leave it where I can easily see it. Others like to download funny voices for their GPS.

    The most important part of having a life plan is following it, regardless of if it is a written guide you look at, a celebrity “voice” you get guidance from, or a trusted friend.

    Along these lines the language is important. Having a Spanish voice won’t help me get to my destination, and neither would a life plan of someone who wants to be an engineer.

  • Figitjill

    Thank you. I figured it was my nook. I was just waiting for my laptop to arrive. Old one died a horrible death

  • http://twitter.com/derekbarney Derek Barney

    I was one who was against the GPS cover, but after reading these 7 points, I’m sold! Nice outline to get ME back on track. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent!

  • Anonymous

    Michael, thank you so much for writing the Life Plan e-book. I got it just a couple of months back and it has been such a blessing.
     
    At 26, and in full-time evangelistic ministry, I got to a place of being at the mercy of the next speaking invitation. Your e-book made me rethink where I’m at, where I’m headed and challenged me to have the courage to let God lead me and not the next best oppurtunity. In fact I just re-read the e-book on my way from Toronto to Port-of-Spain this morning. And I love the GPS analogy, it’ll make a great cover for the ebook.

    My observation: One thing that the GPS doesn’t tell you, that a Life Plan does, is when you need to take a break – refuel, refresh, maybe even regroup (we all do this journey of life as part of a team). I often have to punch it into my GPS while enroute to my destination and the GPS asks, ‘Do you want to continue to your final destination via Tim Hortons (canadian coffee chain)’ and I say YES! I am learning in life that this is very important inorder to reach your destination in a healthy manner.

    I’ve just realized this – As a young person, I’d wanted to achieve it all ‘tomorrow’, but soon I realized that there is a process and it does take time and a lot of growing along the way. Unlike the GPS device, we’re not machines.

    It’s not just about getting to the destination (achievements, success), it also matters if you are healthy enough to enjoy it. That’s where a Life Plan, with a built-in regular review process, is so effective.

    Learning to enjoy the journey to the destination.
     
    Blessings.
    Finu Iype
    http://www.passiontoreach.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing your story and the GPS analogy.

  • http://www.StoriesofRacialHealing.com Phyllis Unterschuetz

    A GPS system gets you where you want to go only if it has accurately pinpointed where you’re at to begin with. If it misreads your starting location, the trip may be an adventure but you will probably end up wasting valuable time. Sometimes this part of the process – clearly defining our present situation – is more difficult than we anticipate. Also a clear view of the sky is necessary; when we forget where our guidance is coming from, we will eventually be lost no matter how good a plan we have.

  • Cbaofficedecatur

    Life is like a GPS in that you can hear a lot of voices telling you which direction to go, but you have to trust the one that you invested in.

  • http://www.patrickruggeri.com Patrick Ruggeri

    I think the metaphor fits well with the purpose of a life plan.  On the technical side, a GPS unit is constantly calculating and repositioning even when we do not know it.  It is always checking with its source of direction to make sure the route we take is the most beneficial.  You mentioned in another article that the life plan is a living document.  If we allow it to, we can grow it, change it and adjust it to where we are in our stages of life.  Just a thought.  Thank you for the post.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s good background information. Thanks.

  • Bonnie Clark

    Although I think everyone has their own life to live, I think there can be value to walking in the footsteps of those before you.  If you have ever used a GPS to go geocaching, you will be doing exactly this.  They have reached a destination that you want to reach too.  You can follow their marked route to get there. 

    Talk to those you admire.  Ask questions.   Learn from them.  Having read your life plan book, some the examples you gave for your life accounts resonated with me and I am borrowing bits for my own plan.

    I appreciate your generosity with that book and your blog.

  • Kathryn

    I have to state first that I have never used nor owned a GPS unit.  I am very good at reading a map, though.   The one thing about the GPS (I assume) and with computerized maps (i.e. a triptik from AAA), is that they give you only one way to get from point A to B.  What about the “scenic” route?  Or, the less-traveled road?  Can a life plan/GPS parallel be made to this situation?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, most of them give you several options. I would have to think of the implications of that.

  • Steve

    A GPS shows where you currently are on your trip. Shows how far you have traveled and how far you still have to go.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I loved the flight screen option as I traveled from Chicago to London. It gave real-time information about where the flight was in relation to departure and arrival points. I thought that concept would be great in mapping out a life plan.  Glad someone came up with a life plan book.

  • Dave Mariano

    Small, light and portable  :)

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    By the way, how do you make your ebook available only to people who subscribe to your website via email?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You set up a sign-up form for your email subscription. I use MailChimp. Then you use an auto-responder to send them the download link once they have confirmed their subscription. Thanks.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        I have heard of that service before…I might have to start using it! Thanks!

        _____

  • Anonymous

    Kind of along the lines of #6 if you follow your GPS blindly without paying attention to the practical implications around you, you can end up in a lake. Remember The Office episode of this. Here is also a good real life example of it: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2011/06/life_imitates_the_office_woman.php

  • AleshiaB

    A life plan is like a GPS because it is a constant reminder you have a destination

  • http://twitter.com/r_lewis Ricky Lewis

    Can’t wait for this download. I have been implementing the principles in the first edition since my first “retreat” and see the progress and the direction already. Thank you for putting this together. It is helping me and I am passing things on to others as well…giving you credit, of course.

  • Pingback: 7 Ways NLP is Like a GPS (or a SatNav to the Brits Among You!) | NLP THIRTEEN()

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Some reasons why I feel planning my life is vital:

    —  A planned life puts my dreams within reach.
    — A planned life puts me in control.
    —  A planned life gives me peace. Just knowing that I am taking steps to create the life I want gives me a sense of peace.
    — A planned life gives me purpose and passion. When I take the time to plan my life, I choose to live life “on purpose.” I no longer just “exist.”
    — And, finally planned life honors God.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Love the last two. And the last one especially!  Very true!

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Yup! It exhibits that we are faithful stewards of time and other resources that are entrusted to us.

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: 7 Ways a Life Plan Is Like a GPS System

  • Gbouknight

    I will force me to take time to examine exactly where I want to go.  You can have the same address in multiple cities or states.  I have to take time to study me, and know how I am wired so that when I put in a destination it has me moving, not towards an address but in the right direction for my life.

  • Chad Jackson

    Really like the analogy!  You could also put in the roads change every once in a while and you have to update your GPS with new maps.  Same thing you have to do with your Life Plan, you have to update it. 

    You could also use the “Lost satellite” reception that we get every once in a while and cannot get a signal.  We have no idea where we are and where we are going without the satellite reception.  God is like the satellite reception and if we lose the reception to our satellite, we will be “lost.”  We can also get lost with our GPS even if we put the right coordinates in. We have to confirm our path.
    Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609963555 Nancy Watta

    I am in the middle of preparing a talk for an on campus group of University students and decided to review your online Life Plan instead of pulling out my copy. Instead I found myself on this page. My topic for the students is, “Finding Strength for the Journey.” As I read through the GPS points, I believe this speaks clearly to today’s generation and our culture in general. As Christians our strength is found in God, but we also need practical advice and direction to survive on the journey. We serve a practical God who desires us to be good stewards of our time. Simply stated; I like the GPS terminology you are using.

  • susan t

    this is awesome!  I use the analogy of a flight plan with my clients – somewhat flexible in journey but with an end destination firmly in sight.
    I am also talking a lot about being DELIBERATE for the same reason – weighing up options, making an informed choice and then moving forward with purpose.

    Thanks for your amazing ideas!

  • http://the123blog.com Marcia (123blog)

    A strange consequence of reading this post – I now think I need to get with the 21st century and buy myself a GPS :) I’ve always thought they’re for lazy people! I know, I know, but I’ve said, “I have a map book, what do I need a GPS for?” :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Once you try one, you’ll never go back. It takes 90% of the stress out of travel!

  • http://the123blog.com Marcia (123blog)

    PS I didn’t vote for the GPS one but I would get anything you put out!

  • Anne Marie Gazzolo

    Directionally-challenged – I love that! I am so very much that. If anyone tells me, go a little south of Main, I say what’s that? I’m much better if someone tells me to turn left at the gas station. That I can figure out. :) I look forward to the next version of the life plan book and especially to Platform book. Thanks for all these great posts!

    God bless, Anne Marie :)

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Love the concept of a life plan! I started working on my plan over 18 months ago, and have tweaked it almost every week.  I have such a stronger sense of purpose with it than ever before.  Thanks for the input into my life here!

    I just wish my life plan would come with that cool voice with the British accent…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’d like to have that voice for my life plan, too!

  • Laura Krokos

    Great analogy.
    Another comparison is that it helps you know what to say no to. If you have your directions set before you, your not going to take a different way thinking perhaps it’s a better route.

    a href=”http://beholdingglory.com”>Beholding Glory

  • jeff @ RealityCheck

    A lot of times in life, the only time we use our GPS is when we are going to a new destination or we get it out when we are lost in direction.  The same is true sometimes in our faith in Jesus, the only time we ask for God’s help is when we feel lost, hopeless or are seeking a new career move or moving to a new location.

    What if we hooked up our Spiritual GPS daily, asking God to lead our direction instead of us going in the way we think is best?  Food for thought for me daily – Am I letting God be my GPS?

    Jeff Shicks

  • Pingback: Review of 2012 – 7 Ways NLP is Like a GPS (Day 7/12) | GATEHOUSE THIRTEEN()

  • Firefishe

    A GPS Navigation System uses satellites in orbit to triangulate on your location upon the Earth.  Triangulating one’s own position in life is equally important.

    As an example–perhaps a parable, really–let’s say you were teleported instantly to some location on Earth where you didn’t know your location.  You have a GPS with a mapping system in your pocket, say a Garmin Dakota 20 ;-), and one set of spare batteries.  It’s small, powerful, and has a built-in compass and barometer.  (Knowing the weather and where North is are very important in this type of situation.)

    In this life scenario, you must first find out your physical location–an easy task with a GPS unit with maps, and most come with a basic world map.  That middle school geography class sure came in handy, didn’t it!

    Once you know your physical location, you can pretty much figure out where you need to go from there.  Dealing with “local matters” is left up to you, but at least you have the tools to start, and can track your progress along the way.  You can also backtrack and see where you’ve been.

    All GPS’s with maps–at least the handheld kind–usually have these kind of features.  The Human Mind and Spirit also have similiar powers–and these help you locate where you are, and find your direction in Life.

    One may not be able to know all things, but we can, at the very least, deal with the small “local” things, one at a time, then go on to the larger “trips.”

    Using our Spirit, we find meaning, as well.  And that, to me, is jsut about as good as it gets!

    Warmest Regards,
    Stephen
    Missouri, USA

  • http://twitter.com/andrewroyster Andrew Royster

    Great metaphor. I really enjoyed podcast #32 and the quote about GPS gets its signal from above.  I think the GPS metaphor is great.  Thanks for sharing this!

  • Shamrocks4kids

    One similarity between the Life Plan and GPS, is that they both tell us where we do not want to go!