The Value of Being Lost

Once walking on the street in Montreal I came across a homeless man who I met a few times before and I asked him how he was doing. He said, “I’m lost”, and he said it with tears welling up in his eyes and a confidence and vulnerability in his state of being that I’ll never forget.

The confidence and sincerity in his answer moved me. It inspired me to face myself and be more honest with my own lostness at times.

As a man I’ve found it hard to admit when I’m lost to myself and to others. But I have learned that there is much value in being lost. I’ve learned that being lost is simply a part of life, business, creativity, and becoming a better version of myself.

If we never got lost, we would stay the same. If we never got lost, we wouldn’t come up with any new ideas. If we never got lost we might not question ourselves. If we never got lost we would become too arrogant.

It takes courage to be lost in Western culture. We value knowing, having a plan, and confidently directing our lives according to our perfect philosophies. Sometimes lostness arrives as a loving messenger inviting new possibilities for ourselves and our projects and we may come up with even better plans if we listen. In my own experience, it has been periods of lostness that have preceded some of the most meaningful and inspiring changes in my life and career.