How to tell if you are lost

Most people that I know, including Yours Truly, prefer to know Where They Are Going. If hiking, the compass keeps us on course; visiting a new city means checking the maps. There is a comfort and a reassurance in knowing the way. When forging a life, however, things are not always so cut and dried.

Some of us follow the maps our parents or family expectations set: attend the same college they did or inherit the family business. And sometimes, those expectations sync with who we are. Sometimes, they don’t.

If you have ever felt the stirrings of unrest or dissatisfaction in regards to where you are along the great Flow Chart of Life, congratulations. That means that your compass works.

“It is good to feel lost… because it proves you have a navigational sense of where Home’ is. You know that a place that feels like being found exists. And maybe your current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.” ~ Erika Harris

That gut feeling means that you are in touch with your core (whether you refer to it as a soul or a higher consciousness). Your life’s work is to heed and hone it.

“I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of.” ~ Michel de Montaigne

In the time that this blog series has existed, I’ve made references to a few diagnostic tools to refine your compass. These include journaling, meditation, exercise and yoga. Each discipline is a means to activate and develop your ability to assess, measure and quantify what’s going on under the hood, so to speak.

In order for you to progress as an individual, it is vital (crucial, essential etc) that you devote at least 15 minutes a day to one of the four activities. Non-negotiable.

“All men should strive
to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why.”
~ James Thurber

During your 15 minute sessions, start out by stating your intention for that day’s efforts. For example, literally write out, “Why do I not understand This Particular Problem?” along the top of your journal page. Start writing. Watch your brain unspool along the page as you answer yourself. It’s exceedingly bizarre, and I can’t explain how, but if you persist in asking yourself questions, you’ll actually answer yourself if you honor your 15 minute commitment to yourself each day.

If you are feeling stressed or tense, force yourself to get up and walk around the block. Use the copier on the second floor. Find an empty office and do Office Yoga. Exercise will literally jog your brain and solutions to your questions will appear.

The key is to remain consistent in your efforts, regardless of how busy you may be. If you are too busy for yourself, you will always keep a portion of your brilliance and potential dormant. Pick one of the four and rotate your choices throughout your days.

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~ Anna Quindlen

This is the kicker. You aren’t your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, the Black Sheep or The Hero. You are you: the singular expression of your own hopes, dreams, talents, foibles and aspirations.

Make the commitment to yourself to begin becoming. It will be a chaotic and exhilarating exercise, but it’s worth it. I promise. When have you learned a lesson about yourself? How did you discover it?


Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder”s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them on facebook.


  1. says

    This is very nice. To think that all people get lost at some point in their lives makes this post relevant and will come handy once you get stuck in that hopeless situation you think you’re in.

    I especially like the positive vibe it gives and the assurance that not because you feel that you’re lost that it’s a bad thing to feel that way. And that you can always get over feeling that way.

    Thanks! :)

    Riza, contributor

  2. says

    A really nice piece. I guess it’s better to get lost and then found than to stand in the same spot for all of your life. The James Thurber quote is food for thought. Once you have answered all 3 of those questions the only question remaining is how you can catch up with what you are running to when you have let it drift a little too far to catch it right now!

  3. molly says

    Hi Riza ~ thanks so much for your insights. It reminds me of the quote, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau

    I appreciate the time you took to comment. :)

  4. molly says

    Hi Evan ~ your comment about Thurber made me smile. The good thing about “catching up” with ourselves is that we are always nearby! 😉

    Good stuff and thanks so much for stopping by.

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