I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most of us like to have a plan. If not for every single day, then certainly for lives. It’s only natural; our brains are designed to see, interpret and predict patterns. For the most part, this is a good thing. Having a plan for ourselves, our lives and our time gives us a sense of purpose: a true north to guide our actions.
But at some point or another, we are all going to get a little lost. This can be scary and uncomfortable, but sometimes being lost can be a beautiful thing.
It takes bravery and a certain amount of discipline to enjoy or at least appreciate being lost. The immediate instinct is to reject directionlessness: to panic and flail and correct course as quickly as possible. But if you’re willing to let go a little you can learn a lot—about yourself and about your companions in aimlessness. How one deals with the unexpected, the unpredictable and the unfamiliar can be revealing. Being lost can inspire us to examine our assumptions, to open ourselves to new experiences.
Letting yourself be lost doesn’t have to be literal. Sure, it can mean consciously reminding yourself to enjoy the ride when you’ve taken a wrong turn on a road trip. But it can also be beautiful to lose yourself in art with meaning that is not immediately accessible to you, or to take part in a new activity or opportunity where you feel out of your depth.
So next time you take a wrong turn or find yourself in over your head, it can help to remember to take a breath and lean in to the loss, just a little, and see what you find.