With a son playing competitive baseball, we get to travel to different towns for games. In order to find the various fields, I’ve become reacquainted with searching for directions online.

Type in the address and get a detailed map of the area including satellite photographs and even the locations of nearby restaurants or gas stations.

But to get directions from here to there? I have to type in my starting location. It reminds me of those maps in the mall that show where every different store is located … with a star or arrow labeling “You Are Here.”

I may know exactly where I want to end up, but navigating the journey ahead begins with an honest evaluation of where I am.

How can I determine my starting location? Sometimes it’s easy to see my faults and weaknesses. Other times I need the objective opinion of a trusted friend. My job does annual performance reviews where I get feedback on areas to improve. In writing, critique groups, contests, agents, and editors show me where I stack up against other authors and stories.

It’s tempting to justify, argue with, or dismiss these evaluations, especially if they hit on a sensitive area. But, I want to grow. And in order to measure that growth, I need a starting point.

What about you? How do you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses? Who would ask to give input?

Navigating: You Are Here
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