near where I live has a few parking lots (and even a garage) that
connects to a road in four different places. First entrance is
maybe two hundred yards away from a stoplight. The second, third
and fourth entrances are spread out so that each is another one
or two hundred yards from the one before it.
the street from the business and its lots are a few things. Gas
station at the stop light. Automobile service station opposite
that first entrance. An employee parking lot and even a helicopter
landing pad roughly around the third entrance.
drive to the buildingÖ in and out of its parking areasÖ fairly
often. And, Iíve discovered a few things about entering and leaving.
just so happens that the best route for me to get to the business
from my home comes in completely opposite to that stoplight. Simple
description Ė I arrive at the fourth entrance first.
so often though, I need to make my way around the overall property.
A turn here and a turn there, the parking garage on one day while
heading out to other errands instead of back home the next. Those
slight differences mean I am not always exiting or entering the
businessís property from the same direction. (Or with the same
the years, Iíve learned that even the space of a few hundred yards
can make massive swings to the ease of accessibility. That gas
station draws in quite a few people. Service station gets a bit
as well. And then, pretty much every hour on the hour, that employee
parking lot keeps a nice steady stream of traffic moving all the
way from the light to just past the third entrance.
those reasons and more, if youíre trying to turn onto or off of
the road, there are reasons and moments where using any of the
first three connections can result in twenty to thirty to more
seconds of delays as compared to the fourth.
Ė The easiest way inÖ and the easiest way outÖ is virtually without
exception the fourth connection. Less traffic flowing past. No
attractions across the road.
I was thinking about the supposed right ways of approaching problems.
Youíve heard the clichés and thoughts worthy of note over
the years, the same as I have. They range from paths of least
resistance to following the leads of those successful in similar
pursuits to the rewards for hard work. All fair enough. All potentially
I ultimately arrived however was a far simpler concept: getting
from where you are to where you need to be. We all want to accomplish
things quickly and easily.
I was heading in to this unnamed business, or leaving it, the
reality of the situation is that I should without exception point
myself in the direction of that fourth connection. It is going
to be the easiest and fastest way to get on the road and moving.
But, itís not always the way I pick.
and pedestrians inside the lot often cause me to steer along a
different path. Perhaps Iím not headed to my driveway, and instead
need groceries or gas or dry cleaning or whatever. And on some
days, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I just want
some ice cream (so to speak Ė assume Iím headed off on the wings
of an impulse, without a care in the world and a desire to keep
far, Iíve always managed to find my way back home again. No matter
what way Iíve connected to that lot and then back to the road
ahead, Iíve ultimately arrived at the intended destination.
Iím working on a new writing project, I often have to consider
the best way to approach things. For book releases, that can mean
everything from proofreading the manuscript to designing the cover,
setting up appearances to packaging marketing materials, and then
off into more considerations. I have come to find that even with
experience being a pretty good teacher, and one that often leads
to a certain set of actions once again being the best options,
every so often there are benefits to heading down a different
with life, on every level. We set off on a journey. We have a
vague idea of our destination. We might have a decent schedule
and plans for the travel. Ultimately though, the real fun and
excitement are often provided by the surprises we encounter along
on the road are often unmarked. As you move along the road, be
prepared to head toward your own version of option number four.
It will be the easiest. It will be the fastest. And you will get
where you are going. Once in a while though, donít be afraid to
consider options one, two and three. Put in the time and effort,
and youíll still get where you goingÖ drift the right way occasionally
on those other routes, and you might get some ice cream as well.