Tag Archive | Google

What do you do if you are directionally challenged?

I attended a training seminar today in a different town about an hour from my home. My GPS is, shall we say, less reliable than I’d like. It cannot even direct me to find my house when I am a half mile away. Good thing I know where I live.

Since my husband has a better sense of direction and loves maps, I asked for his help. That was a good thing. He searched Google and printed out a set of maps for me, highlighted my route in orange and sent me on my way. He did an excellent job. I not only found the spot easily, but I made good time – better than my friend who took the turnpike, and she had to pay a toll to sit in traffic. So why, if I had such wonderful help in finding my route am I directionally challenged? I think it has to do with the pride factor. You know what the Good Book says, “Pride goes before a fall.”

Since I had no difficulty finding my way to the site, why should I anticipate any issues coming home? That’s where I went wrong. Enter the no left turn sign at the end of the road where I had made a right hand turn earlier in the morning. Ok, so now what? Turn back and look for signs, right?

“Should be easy enough,” I thought. Except for the fact that I wound up in an industrial park. They don’t make it easy to get out of those; nevertheless, I made it. Hmm, just ask the guy coming out of the restaurant how to get to my route. It’s a main highway so it should be no problem. New dilemma. He did not speak English, and the only other person walking around was across the median strip. So I gave up on asking for directions and drove. I couldn’t really be lost.

I found a road with a familiar sounding name and decided to turn there. I came to a light and a junction for another major thoroughfare. Since the light was red, I rolled down my window to ask the person in the car to my left. Can you believe it, she just yakked on her cell phone while her daughter, the driver, put her hair into a pony tail? (People do really strange things in their cars, but that’s another post.) The woman on the right, however, was alert and told me to continue on my current route. She said that I’d run right into the road I wanted. She was right. Within minutes, I was back on track.

So maybe I’m not as directionally challenged as I thought or perhaps the Lord figured I’d learned my lesson. I’m glad He’s merciful.

A quotation for writer’s block

Do you ever draw a complete blank when preparing a speech or working on a writing project? Are you ever at a loss for words or just don’t know what to write about? If so, try this exercise that will not only provide you with wisdom (hopefully) but also get you moving past writer’s block as well.

Start off by Googling quotes and chose a quotation that you like or one that aligns with your assigned topic. Then jot down as many ideas as you can about relative topics you could get from using this quote. Don’t filter the ideas with thoughts of, “This won’t work.” Go for quantity not quality.

For example, I found the following quotation from Bil Keane. He was an American cartoonist whose comic, The Family Circus, became syndicated in many newspapers beginning in 1960. You’ll get a kick out of his play on words.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” ~ Bil Keane 

You could expound or philosophize on:

  • Yesterdays in your life
  • Events from history
  • History and what we learn from it
  • Your favorite time in history
  • Your hopes and dreams for tomorrow
  • The illusiveness of tomorrow
  • No guarantees for tomorrow
  • Today and living for the here and now
  • Gifts in general
  • God’s gift
  • God – an infinitely broad topic
  • Why today might be God’s gift
  • Present (here and now)
  • Presents you’ve received …

Keep the list going at least long enough to get your thoughts going in an appropriate direction or until you go crazy. At any rate, the exercise should get your juices flowing in a direction that will move you off of dead center and having you wave farewell to writer’s block.

Top questions about baby boomers?

You’ve likely heard the term baby boomer, but do you know what one is? If you don’t, you’re not alone. Using the Google keyword search tool I discovered that 246,000 searches are conducted globally per month to find this out. This is based on a 12 month average. If you are interested in only English speaking countries, the number drops to 110,000 per month. You’ll get similar results if you ask who is a baby boomer or who are baby boomers?

In case you’re curiosity is getting the better of you, I won’t keep you in the dark any longer. A baby boomer is a person born within the period of 1946 to 1964. And according to an article entitled Just How Many Baby Boomers Are There, the 79 million counted in the 2000 census were far too many for the 30-somethings anxious to take over their jobs.

So, what other questions along this topic ranked the highest? According to Wordstream after the generational type question/definition, baby boomer dating seems to be the hottest query followed by references to the PBS baby boomer TV show and health concerns. Other topics with higher rankings were somewhat alarming.

  • baby boomer selfishness
  • why are people afraid to speak about baby boomer euthanasia
  • the government should seize baby boomer assets before they retire

Interestingly, the most competition in these searches came from advertisers and marketers. No mystery here. Baby boomers represent both a large segment of the population and the wield a lot of buying power.

I’ve decided that baby boomers don’t identify themselves in this category so they’re not the ones searching. Boomers consider themselves to be real people rather than being pressed with a label. They are concerned more with specific themes or issues and use the Internet to locate more related information.

So here’s my query today dedicated to baby boomers all over the world.

What are the specific topics you regularly Google / search?

BTW: If you’re not a baby boomer, pass the question on to some you know and let me in on their responses.

Can you get out of your comfort zone using Google maps?

When you start your own business or a new job, it is important to get yourself or your name out in public in order to obtain new clients or business. Networking is a wonderful means to accomplish this. For some, the process is easier than for others.  In my case, I chose to begin with a local Chamber of Commerce business card exchange. I thought this would be an excellent way to bolster my courage and start my journey to success. I even coerced a friend to attend as well. 

Dressed professionally and armed with business cards and prepared elevator speeches, we grabbed our Google directions and were on our way. Admittedly we experienced some nervousness as we set out on this great adventure outside the “Comfort Zone.”     

We were unconcerned about the directions as we had cut and pasted the address from the online invitation into Google maps. We followed our prescribed path and recognized the names of streets just as the instructions indicated. However, the bank hosting the event did not appear. I called my husband, who patiently re-Googled (is there such a term?) the address and came up with the same plan.  We retraced our route, but did not see the bank. In fact, we did not see any banks. 

After getting turned around on some back roads and trying to second guess what Google may have done, we ended up in the next town that happened to begin with the same letter. Still the correct bank did not emerge. Finally, we resigned ourselves to head for home. We traveled several more miles before stopping at a traffic light. Lo and behold, we looked up and before our eyes was “the” bank. Can you believe the name of the street matched not only the invitation, but also the street we had been traveling on for the past hour? 

After traveling about 50 miles (It should have been 6.1 and taken 15 minutes), we finally reached our destination. We hurried in to exchange cards with the few people remaining. Funny thing. The nervousness had disappeared as we had replaced that emotion with relief and thankfulness for finding our location. 

So to answer my title question, can you find your way out of your comfort zone using Google maps? The answer is yes, but the route you travel may deviate from the map.