When preparing for a journey into unknown territory one of the items we would take with us is a map of the environment we are about to explore. We do so firstly to plan efficient routes and secondly to avoid getting lost and losing time re-tracing our steps.
We would mark our intended travel with dots and crosses and start at X. As we progress along our journey, we inevitably discover that over the years, some of these dots and crosses that we planned to explore have disappeared or been transformed, while there are others that are just as they are pictured in the tourist guide.
And this happens in real life as well. We attempt to plan for what is ahead of us, by anticipating errors and obstacles. Errors are unavoidable and integral to living life but we have the capacity to compensate for them. We do so by searching for landmark features in our environment, which we then use as mental reference points. These are pinned on our maps initially, and so we compare, correct and deduce our position relative to the reference or landmark in our mind.
Personal landmarks are unique, although in name they are the same. Often the difference is the way the same goal has been achieved or how the individual perceives the event.
There is a further difference between a landmark as part of the environment and a personal landmark one sets out to achieve: the distance of one is fixed and linear whereas the other is non-linear and often inconsistent.
Our ability to be flexible enables us to compensate for changes and uncertainty. We adjust by concentrating on lesser, but nonetheless important goals and determine targets within our reach, thus capturing the basic shape of our environment and personal limits and capacity.
We record those experiences continuously, and unconsciously create an archive of markers. Landmarks in real life are a record of experiences and steps taken that guide us towards our goals.
In this way, landmarks become a framework on the journey of discovery; zigzagging through life and never reaching a final destination.
Remain curious, establish your own landmarks, and as you continually transform and reset your path ask yourselves what else is there?
Head of Section, Jewellery Object Design + Manufacture
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