“Recalculating” A Strategy for Success

I finally bought a GPS. I fought the idea because I already had a wife. Didn’t need a GPS.  Diane was my GPS. “Turn left in 500 ft – Stay on this road for three miles – Stop! – We’re here!”

Diane was always right and she didn’t need batteries. I travel alone now and I’m not very good at getting to my destination.  On several occasions I’ve found myself in the middle of a corn field, fifty miles from where I wanted to be.  So I bought a GPS.  Named it Lulu.  Lulu has my destination locked in her memory and shows me the perfect way to get there. It’s kind of nice. Lulu doesn’t make me stop to go to the bathroom, she never asks me what I am thinking and she too is always right. But sometimes I deliberately, or by accident, turn right when Lulu says left…or left when she says right.  In those moments Lulu gently instructs me to make a U turn and get back on track.  More often she simply says “recalculating.” Then she comes up with a whole new perfect plan for me. A new beginning from my current position. How cool is that! The destination remains the same… the journey getting there has been adjusted taking into account my diversion.

We have a lot to learn from Lulu. The path to success, in business, marriage, friendship, faith is NEVER, you heard it right, NEVER without misguided or intentional detours.

Every missile fired into space has its own GPS guiding it. Every missile goes astray, every single one.  A computer is constantly  recalculating and sending new commands, “correct one degree to the left.”  Soon the missile is back on course….. but not for long.  What looks like a flawless shot to the moon is actually a million little recalculations made along the way. The ability to recalculate gets the missile to where it is going. The same ability will get you where you want to go and where you are supposed to go.

We are extremely reluctant to accept “recalculating” as a pattern of success.  We want to believe the journey will be seamless and without error.  But it is those who accept failure as a reality, those who eagerly seek to learn from mistakes, those who are anxious to recalculate and get back on course, those are the people who reach the pinnacles of success.

  • It took Thomas Edison thousands of failures and approximately 10,000 experiments to invent the electric light bulb.  He knew how to recalculate.
  • Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steam engine, failed so publicly that his creation was dubbed Fulton’s Folly.  But he knew how to recalculate!
  • Abraham Lincoln was defeated in several elections before he was elected as president of the United States. He didn’t give up! He recalculated, made adjustments changed the face of history.

Even God recalculates for us, why shouldn’t we? When we make a wrong turn in life He doesn’t ban us from making the journey. He just whispers, “recalculating” and redirects us, from where we find ourselves right now, to a NEW and PERFECT path to the right destination.

Where are you right now? Where do you want to be?  Recalculate!  You can get there from here!

I’d like to write more but I have to make a U-turn!

For more encouragement on this subject check out our DVD “Second Chances.” Wait till you see the recalculation God did for this dude!


  1. I love your thoughts on this. What a wonderful way to look at our lives. Having been born without a mouth gaurd, I find myself recalculating a lot. 😉 I’m always teasing Jeff — he named his “Sheila”, why I don’t know. I hated Sheila. I’d give him directions and he’d ignore me, then he gets “her” and he listens. So, I hated her. Then one blissfully wonderful day, I caught him ignoring her too. I cried.

  2. I’m at a point where I must make a huge detour from my intended path. A friend and I were just talking this morning about how God has planned out our deviations from the beginning of time, and already has laid an alternate route out. He is so good! Thank you, Ken, for this encouraging word.

  3. Mr. davis 🙂 My name is Annie and I met you last night at Salina’s show. I just wanted to tell you how much you blessed everyone last night. you are amazing! May God bless you in everything you do. I am the girl who showed you my adopted little girl from peru.
    In Him,
    Annie Hysong 🙂

  4. I like the way you think! I’m not okay either, but I’m learning that it’s okay not to be okay. Ever get close to Georgia? Sure would like to see you in person.

  5. Was having one of those “life stinks and then you die” mornings. Had to put gas in my car while standing in a major rain storm. Arrived at the church dripping and dropping into depression. (I serve as a part time assistant pastor to augment my income as a Christian cartoonist) I sat at my desk discouraged and angry. Checked your web site for some help. The recalculating blog saved the day. It has convinced me that it is indeed time to recalculate some of my goals and plans and to combine my teaching gift and my cartooning. Thanks for your help!

    1. Author

      You are so welcome, Dennis. I would love to see an example of your work sometime.

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