I wouldn’t say I’m particularly claustrophobic, but I must confess to a slight moistness-of-palm at the thought of being confined in an overly-tight space. A walk along a wide open beach a week or so ago was a perfect reminder of how good it can be to feel unfettered and free.
To some, the idea of being lost in a maze might be pretty nerve-wracking, but I guess my anxiety about being shut-in somewhere doesn’t really extend to complicated arrangements of privet hedges.
If someone plopped you down at the centre of a maze, provided you kept calm, you’d reach the exit sooner or later. Sooner, if you used that logical trick of always keeping one hand on the wall to your left (or right if you prefer) – you’d end up visiting every single part of the maze, but would discover the way out eventually.
Although a maze is (to most) only a fun thing, perhaps the techniques for success can apply in other more serious avenues of life?
For a start, it’s good to set off believing that you’ll find your way out, even if it takes a bit of time. In the same way, when you find yourself in one of life’s spaghetti-heaps, a little self-belief goes a long way. Have confidence, keep the faith. Your end goal may not be in view now, but steady and gentle progress will get you there in the end.
Some mazes have an attendant sitting on a very high chair: they can see things you can’t, just like someone you know who probably has a clearer view of your dilemma than you. So if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Then there are always the little secret tips (like the hand on the wall one). You’ve probably ridden out storms before. What worked then? Look back and learn.
It may not always feel like it, but humans have a tremendous survival instinct. We nearly always bounce back, even though it may sometimes take a while.