Finding the right way to connect


Business 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.

Across 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.

I drive to the buildingÖ in and out of its parking areasÖ fairly often. And, Iíve discovered a few things about entering and leaving.

It 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.

Every 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 intentions.)

Over 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.

For 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.

Yes 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.

Today 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 wise advice.

Where 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.

If 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.

Traffic 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 smiling).

So 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.

When 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 road.

Same 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 the way.

Forks 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.


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