True North

Explorers call our heart’s destination, “True North”
If you think your “True North” is enough money to control your own creative destiny,
realize that we always control our own creative destiny,
though not always the course.

By Sarah Ban Breathnach

I’ve been writing in my journal most mornings and I typically read a chapter of a book and/or a thought for the day before I start.  Today the quote above really landed.  It didn’t hit me between the eyes, but rather the words fell in a place that opened up my heart.  

When I think of the words, “True North” my mind first goes to Steven Covey, an amazing thought leader on principled living.  I so love the idea of remembering to stay the course that I have a small silver compass that I wear on a chain.  

It wasn’t really Steven Covey that motivated me to buy the compass as a structure, or a way of remembering what my heart’s destination is all about, but a bunch of 11-12 year old boys that I was lucky enough to work with at a Leadership Camp called Michael’s Gate.  

I missed being there this year.  I missed seeing their enthusiasm for life.  I missed noticing how clearly they can see where they get in their own way, and how open they are to talking about that. 

Developing that program was so clearly a part of the course for me then, just as it so clearly is not a part of the course now.  I don’t always understand why the course I am on takes the twists and turns that it does, I am clear about my own creative destiny.  All roads lead to that place.

My “True North” is seeing the unique and magnificent gift that each of us has to offer, and having that reflected so that others remember why they are here.  It’s all about unleashing possibilities and potential out in the world. I don’t always know the form that will take.  I do know when I am pouring my life through that point on the compass, and when I’m not.  

In my work as a coach, and developing coaches, I notice that most know when they aren’t pointing towards True North, and yet they’re not quite sure how to grasp the “what is it for me.”

When we aren’t clear it impacts every part of our life.  We have a sense of deep longing, dissatisfaction, and emptiness.  At work it may be that we just can’t wait for the weekend to arrive so we can truly live.  Or, worse, we are so unsure about how to live our life’s journey that we spend our time on empty pursuits, trying to fill the void.

I have been working on developing a Leader Map: a way to define the big journey (True North) and to capture the threads of all the twists and turns along the way.  I want to be intentional so that I don’t take a side road that leads me farther away from my creative destiny. 

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