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Things My Father Taught Me : Don't Rely on GPS

March 11, 2015 3 Minutes


Over the years, my dad has taught me many things, however he has tried to teach me far more than I've actually learnt. In my youth and naivety, as many of us do I am sure, I shrugged off many of his 'lessons' as useless old man stuff. "Okay, yep yep I'll do that" I would blurt out, then go and do whatever he told me not to do anyway. Perhaps it was his delivery or purely my ignorance, but now as a soon to be dad myself, and seeing my dad try and teach similar things to my nephew and nieces (his grand kids), I'm starting to realise, "hey, he's actually right!"

This topic is a more recent one. Dad has always been on my not to rely on my cars GPS all the time, and to use it sparingly. "If you rely on that you'll never learn!" he would say. Pfft, who cares, I'm going to follow the GPS, the GPS is always right.

The GPS is not always right and is in fact more often than not, wrong. Just this morning whilst running late for an audition, the GPS told me to take an exit that I KNEW would send me in the opposite direction of where I needed to go, and I still took it! I bowed down to my GPS technology lord whilst doubting what I knew to be the correct direction to travel in. The result, an extra 15 minutes on top of my already long drive. 

So I started to realise, is following my GPS all the time (and most technology reliance) making me dumberer? Potentially. My wife always says I have a terrible sense of direction, and it wasn't always the case in my youth. I put on the GPS to go to the shops even though I know exactly where the shops are from my 17 thousand trips there over a lifetime so far. One day I remember I turned it off because 'of course I know how to get there honey!". 4 minutes later we were lost.    

Remembering back to my teenage years when GPS's and smart phones were not around, if I had a long drive to a new location, I would check out a map, mentally plan my route, remember the turns I had to make, then drive. If I got lost along the way, I would use my surroundings and direction of travel to estimate where I was and what course correction I needed to take. 

A man should have a strong sense of direction, and not rely on his technology to get him from A to B. We also need to exercise our minds more, and in saying that, I suggest testing your mental wit and capacity, and driving less via technology, and more via your natural sense of direction. If you don't have one, just know it will develop over time.                     

Doing this works in another great way that we don't often think about. It makes us more aware. I'm talking situationally aware and in tune with the environment around us. Too often we have tunnel vision whether it be whilst we are driving or whilst we're starting at out smart phones. Driving to a new destination and relying on your own navigational systems will do wonders for your mind, confidence, and makes you more of a man in the process. 

Lastly, remember this - we're men, we don't need to ask for directions!


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