Which Way is Fifth Avenue?

I saw something that every person new to New York City needs to have. It is a compass made specifically for the city indicating Uptown, Downtown, Eastside and Westside. This would be a perfect gift for the girl in our elevator last week who was talking about how she always gets lost on the subway.

I remember what it was like when I first moved to New York City and I was learning how to navigate the city. It was always confusing to be underground and then climb the stairs to street level and try to determine which way was East. I still remember one of my first job interviews where I walked a full Avenue before I realized I was headed in the wrong direction!

It can also be confusing when local subway trains all of a sudden turn Express. Riders who did not hear the announcement, which is common given the poor speaker quality on the trains, end up far away from their intended destinations. One small mistake could cost a lot of extra time and frustration.

Passengers can also find it confusing when a subway train is delayed or under construction and they are required to take alternate lines. This seems to happen quite often these days since Manhattan is in a constant state of construction. I understand how New York City can be confusing, so now, whenever I see someone on the street pull out a map, I offer to help.

Everyone needs a little guidance now and then. What kinds of resources are you using to guide your life and make sure you are traveling in the right direction? Do you have a network of family and friends? Do you set goals for yourself? Are you paying attention to the signs along the way to make sure you are heading the direction you want to be going? Are you listening for further instructions? Are the instructions clear and easy to understand?

Don’t just hop on the train of life and expect it will take you where you want to go. The train’s final destination could be far from what you have in mind.

Pay attention to what is happening in your life. Reach out and help others around you. Make time for chocolate.