Navigation systems can be a saving grace when you’re traveling in unfamiliar territory. But GPS has limitations.
The navigation system can’t help you navigate if you don’t know where you are or where you want to go. It doesn’t have the capacity to account for whether you prefer the backroads or the main highway, or off-reading.
And even if you can program it to give you a route off the known roads, it doesn’t know if your car can handle those roads. It doesn’t know your tolerance for bumpy roads or sitting in traffic.
GPS excels at identifying the roads, not in choosing the path.
The same is true for any guide we seek to help us reach our goals.
It’s common advice that the best way achieve any outcome is to find someone who has done what you want to do and model what they’ve done.
This sends us on a search for “best practices” so we can avoid the trial-and-error process and more quickly hack our way to achieving our desired outcomes.
Every day we see offers from people who have achieved a certain result and are willing to teach us their “proven system” so we can create the same result.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with learning someone else’s system and modeling someone who has achieved the result we desire.
If we can learn from someone else’s mistakes or the things they did well, we can speed up our process. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
That assumes, of course, that the wheel works for the way you work.
We can fall into the trap of believing that what’s “best practice” or what worked for some — or even most — people is best practice or will work for us.
Each of us has different strengths and skills. Just because another person achieved a result by following a certain system doesn’t mean that system will work for you.
Other people are at best like GPS. They can show us the roads, but they can’t choose our path.
As you seek best practices and proven systems it’s important to look at the underpinnings to determine if those practices and systems are aligned for you.
Best practices are only best if they fit with how you work best.