Geocaching has quickly become my new favorite hobby. The idea of searching for treasure in strange places as I travel seems to fit my sense of adventure. Even after successfully finding 100 caches I know that I am a newbie at the game with many lessons to be learned. Last night’s cache is a perfect example. When I approached ground zero (GZ) for the site I found myself in a familiar setting. I knew from the clues that the cache was hidden in a guard rail. I assumed I knew which one. After walking what I thought to be the required steps in the correct direction I found myself in the wrong place. How could this be? I was at the guard rail, I followed my GPS – I should be in the right spot! I was not.
What went wrong? As a result of my thinking that I was in a familiar setting, I assumed what I should do next. I didn’t actually look at the map. Mistake. Had I looked at the map, I would have quickly seen that I was heading in a slightly different direction.
How many times when dealing with situations in life do we make the same mistake? We find ourselves in a familiar situation and take action before actually reviewing the map or the plan? How many times have we found ourselves working with clients on their events and assume we are on familiar ground. As a result we don’t bother to find out what makes this particular situation unique and different? It is within those details that we will find our true path to success.
To avoid finding yourself off track and needing to make a course correction, one should always take the extra time at the beginning of the project to do the research and the planning. Rather than jumping into a situation assuming you know the direction to head. By looking at the map or the plan ahead of time you will ensure starting off in the right direction and staying on course. Always remember that although the current event is similar to one you have planned before – it truly is different. Understanding the differences is what makes you the expert.