The Art of Getting Lost

Updated: Aug 4



Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. Henry David Thoreau

American culture has an aversion to getting lost.


Our streets are meticulously named and numbered to show where we are. Our GPS guides us when we drive to a new place. It’s hard to get lost in a country like ours in the modern era. When did you get lost last time? Was it when your cell phone ran out of battery?


I grew up in Japan, lived in Indonesia, and studied in India. I remember many small streets with no name or number in those countries. Getting lost was part of life.


What would you do if you were lost? You could, of course, seek help from local people. But this logical solution often doesn’t work in a place like Bali, where folks easily give wrong directions rather than admitting they don’t know the way.


In such a time of confusion and helplessness, there is only one whom you can ask: yourself.

Close your eyes and ask your inner wisdom where you are now and which way you need to go. Feel the vibration of Earth under your feet and sense the ray of sunlight coming from a particular direction. Listen to the birds and taste the winds.


Do the same when you get lost in life. It is where the GPS doesn’t exit. It is where nobody can tell you how to get to your destination.


The time of getting lost is when you snap out of the auto-pilot mode of living. It is when you look into yourself and ask big questions: “Who am I?” “Where do I want to go?” No one gives you an answer, so you have to use your heart as a compass to navigate your way.


The place of getting lost in life is where you must deal with self-doubt, weakness, confusion, and lack of confidence. By totally owning your vulnerability, you will become more humble and grateful. You will feel compassion for others who are also lost and appreciate the support you receive. Your heart will become tender and expand.


Then, it will show you the way.


After all, getting lost is the best way to find your ultimate destination.