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Are you stuck at the CROSSROADS OF LIFE?

by Gordon Alexander

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in a little park at the center of the Universe, at a place once known as Barney's Busy Corners.

It is where the cities of Akron, Tallmadge, and Cuyahoga Falls Ohio all meet. It is today one of the busiest intersections in the state where six high-traffic roads meet.

Well, I watched this car come up Howe Rd. from the East, and when it got into the middle of the intersection it STOPPED.

Horns started blowing, people were yelling.

So I jumped up from my maple stump grandstand, and ran (OK, I now jog, but it feels the same as running used to) to the car, thinking something was wrong.

There was a little old man driving, and his little old wife was screaming at him. They were lost. They didn't know which way to turn. And in all the confusion, the guy just stopped. I asked where he was going, and then I received an amazing answer.

He said, "I don't know. I can't remember."

Well, it's kind of hard to give directions to someone who is clueless as to the destination. Isn't it?

I directed him to a little parking lot up Howe Rd., a sewing machine repair shop, and then I ran after him. The crowds were cheering and waving at me. Many with just one finger.

Anyhow.

When I got there, the couple were fuming at each other, and I asked again where they were trying to go. The gentleman told me he was meeting someone at a restaurant, but couldn't remember the name of it. He also said he lost the directions to the place.

Well, I know this area like the proverbial back of my hand, so I took a stab,"Old Country Buffet?"

"YES", he exclaimed. It wasn’t that I got lucky, they fit the profile.

So I sent them on their way with simple directions.

Turn left at the next light. Turn right at the first light after that. Piece of cake directions, it was easy when I knew where they wanted to go.

After this encounter, I continued my walk, and thought about what had happened.

See, I spent my youth at that intersection. When most of this 5 lane cement highway was a dirt road. When one of the busiest malls in America was an old farm, where I walked my dog.

Where the strip plaza was a golf course where I learned to play the game quickly (so I wouldn't get caught for sneaking on).

And where I used to stand at the exact same spot where that man had frozen. But in those remnant Happy Days of the early 60's, I could stand on that spot for several minutes before a car would come along.

I would stand with my compass. And map.

It was a map of the world. And I figured out where everything was. Going over top of the Saksa's house would take me to Toronto. Down Howe Rd. I'd get to Virginia Beach. Over the water tower, and I'd be in California.

See, I had a map. And a compass. And a desire to see the world. And I stood at that intersection and plotted my course. On how I would get to all these "exotic" places. How I could make that journey. I didn't know then but the U.S. Navy was going to be my ticket to those far away places I dreamt about from that intersection. I imagined walking the beaches of Hawaii, one of my earliest childhood dreams. And 12 years later as I was walking the warm sands of Maui, I thought of that intersection.

I tossed a glance eastward from atop a hill in Hong Kong. I looked North from the Panama Canal. I imagined a straight line from the deep South Pacific, where water magically runs down the drain the "wrong" way. I always made a connection to that Intersection. That crossroads I had left behind seeking adventure.

Now I sit at the center of my old universe, and watch the cars fly by. All in a hurry. All speeding toward the mall, or the movies, or a restaurant. They travel quickly. And it is not unusual to see people turning in front of cars at the last second, because they don't know where they are going.

 

Oh, most have a destination. But many lack directions. And then there came a man, when asked where he was trying to get to, said: 'I DON'T KNOW'.

It caught me by surprise.

And so I ask you. Do you have a destination? Do you have directions on how to get there? Or are you like the man frozen at the crossroads of life? The one who does not know where he WANTS TO GO.

That man, the one who stopped at my intersection, he was frustrated. He reminded me of many people I know. They are constantly going to DO something, to BE someone, to GO somewhere. They are going to change their life. Because they are not satisfied with it. Because they don't have enough money. Or they lack things. Or something.

But they are like the man that was trapped in the confusion of POSSIBILITY, at the crossroads of life.

Some of my friends could be RICH, if only. If only they could get a break. If only they had some money to bring their idea to market. If, if, if. IF

IF they could choose the right path. The right road.
The one that leads to success.

Lately, in this little lake of the Internet there has been a lot of talk about "gurus" and teachers and marketers. That's what this neck of the net is all about. And there has been discussion, much too much in my opinion, about who's material, who's information is the best, which one works. etc. etc.

Friends, all that stuff, all that HOW TO material, including my CHATTEL REPORT and UTTER POWER tape, all that is just a map.

A guide. But it's not the same as REALITY. The map I had of Hong Kong as a kid was filled full of pictures, wonderful and fascinating POSSIBILITY, but it was NOTHING like the real thing.

AS more than a few modern gurus are apt to say, the MAP is NOT THE TERRITORY. It only represents the real thing. And there are many ways to get to where you want to go.

If you know where that is.

Can you identify the road that will lead you to DEFINITE HAPPINESS? Can you pick the road that takes you to your destination?

I consider myself to be a map maker. I'm that little old man sitting at the intersection, just waiting for someone to ask me directions so I can point and tell them which way to go.

I can do that, if they know where they are trying to get to. But when a man says, "I DON'T KNOW" to the question,

'where do you WANT to go?"

THEN,
it gets kind of hard. In the CHATTEL REPORT, I gave you a plan, a 12 week road map to take you to a destination. And also in the report I told you: THESE ARE MY DIRECTIONS, you are free and encouraged to make your own. You can use my map as a general guideline, to get a feel for the territory, but you can change directions, take different roads, because it is YOUR JOURNEY.

I read last week on another board about a man, a Realtor I believe, who was making good money, 90 thousand a year as I remember. And 90k affords you a decent lifestyle, a 90k lifestyle. And I think he was looking to get out of what he was doing and wanted to do something else, but something that could replace his income. And it sounded like he was in a hurry.

He was looking for a map. And there are many available. But I want to tell one thing. One thing I have learned. Something I did NOT know as a young boy standing with my map and compass in hand, mentally traveling the world from the center of my universe.

I did not know that I could have chosen ANY of those roads and been happy. I did not realize that ANY of the roads could have led me to what I was seeking. I did not understand that the destination was the result of the traveler.

That I took my destination WITH ME.

I have friends who hate HAWAII, too crowded, too commercial. Others hate Hong Kong, or Toykyo, many hate New York City. Or Mexico City. Or Los Angeles, or West Palm Beach.

All places I love. I haven't yet been to a place I can hate. And I now know the reason. It is what I take along. And since I still somehow maintain that youthful enthusiasm for the different. For the unknown, for the "exotic", I enter my travels wide eyed and in awe.

Expecting to find interesting and warm people (ALWAYS HAVE, ALWAYS WILL).

Expecting to see different ideas, different cultures, and to meet different people. The DESTINATION, wherever it may be in the day, is part of a larger journey. A journey through my life.

And I would ask you to consider your life, the one you have TODAY. The one you are living this moment. And if you are in any way unhappy, or frustrated, or disenfranchised with YOUR life, then I would once again ask that question that I ask so often:

WHAT IS IT YOU WANT? and WHY DO YOU WANT IT?

Where will your wants take you? Where do you want to get to? And how can you live fully as you travel toward something, a better tomorrow, a better place to be, and not use up too much of TODAY, worrying about your past, or longing toward you future?

That's my thought of the day.

The MAP MAKER.

Gordon Alexander

 

Copyright 2000 Gordon J. Alexander and Seeds of Wisdom Publishing, All Rights Reserved