Sense of Direction


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I’ve been to it only 2 times in my entire life and I’m often amazed by the place–BGC. Last week I attended a 3-whole-day Sun Life training on life insurance and financial investment at the Sun Life building along 5th Avenue in Bonifacio Global City (BGC). I always feel like being in another country when I happen to be here–especially because of the the tall, modern buildings–and it seems I lose all sense of direction.

I’m not used to being in very formal and cosmopolitan places like this where people wear suits, coats and ties, shiny leather shoes, and other formal clothing and act sophisticated and seldom smile or laugh at jokes. I easily get lost. On my first time here, I was only told directions via text messages but thank God I found my way easily to the posh restaurant where the press conference was (I covered the event for a magazine client) without getting lost. Geographically, I retained my sense of direction. But socially, it was quite another story.

It’s easy to locate places even without the aid of GPS–even if the guy giving you directional instructions don’t know a thing about giving directions. All you need to do is ask the right persons at the site for direction–like public vehicle drivers or kind-looking traffic policemen. Also, you need to have proper orientation–know where north, south, east, and west are mentally as you walk the streets so that any which way you turn you know where you are and how far you are from your point of origin–a good sense of direction.

But sense of direction in a social sense is more complex–or how you strike conversation or make friends with folks around you in an environment where smiling and laughing seem to be sin. So what I often do is break the norm and do everything considered taboo–like smiling, being informal, and talking to strangers. I know–moms always teach kids never to talk to strangers–but my mom told me to meet strangers wisely. You can’t remain an island in a place where you need instructions to get to places, and I don’t mean just geographically but socially as well.

Just make sure to have proper orientation and the right point of origin–or who you really are and what your purpose is. Get it?

Often, you get lost more when you just try to blend in with the crowd and conform to the prevailing culture or atmosphere. If you want to get to the right path, you need to get right directions. So you need to disturb the norm and seek truth. Often, you need to be different, even appearing “lost” to others. That way, you won’t get lost.

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