What is Your True North?
How do you ensure that you are on the right path? The path of living out your most authentic self, of maximizing your potential, of creating joy in your life?
Is it your faith? Is it a set of personalized principles? Is it nature? Is it family?
There are so many aspects to the thing we call life, to truly get the most out of it, you need to head in a particular direction, or you will run out of time.
Personally, I wake up sometimes lost, feeling a bit off kilt. I think to myself, is what I'm doing stirring the deepest part of me? Is it helping other people? Am I creating the type of life I want for myself and my family?
The ideal life looks very different for all of us. To know that you are off the path, you have to first establish the path.
Creating your true north is something that very few people can give you advice on because it is so specific to you. It is a conglomeration of numerous determining factors in your life. In my opinion, all of those inputs only help guide you if you know how and when to check back-in...to recalibrate.
For example, we all know that the oil needs to periodically be changed in our car, but how do we know precisely when. Well, in the 'old days' you kept track of miles and checked the ole dip stick every once in a while. Nowadays it's a bit easier with computers telling us when we've hit our 5000 miles or percentage of time until the next change. If we changed the oil every day it would be overkill; if we never changed it, we would pretty much guarantee the slow and steady death of our automobile.
It seems prudent to me, to not rely on external systems to tell us when we are off course, and instead to create regular intervals to check in with ourselves. This is how I check in with myself.
I ensure that once a quarter, I spend an entire weekend, maybe up to four days by myself in nature...without technology. This allows me to recalibrate, reconnect, and sort a lot of thoughts and emotions. It's not as if I return from these trips in a state of zen, with all of my shit figured out, but I do gain some clarity, stress relief, and hopefully, I had some fun. I'm also a stickler about getting outside every day, intending to make that something active. The active component doesn't always happen, but even watching a sunrise while drinking some coffee has a profound effect on my day.
Find out what works for you; don't be reactive with your life. Be proactive, pick a heading, and consistently recalibrate your direction.