There is an old Greek parable that states, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Ideally, the fox is cunning and has many tricks under its sleeves. It plays dead, it races, it pounces, to catch the hedgehog for its meal. The hedgehog, on the other hand, is quiet and slow, yet it outwits the fox every time.
In a sense, the parable is a lot like life. One can try different strategies to get to their quest, or they can focus on one thing. Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, developed this concept and postulated that when you focus your energy on what you are good at, it is easy for you to reach your destination quickly.
The vision is true north for the soul. It is a permanent, intuitive compass direction for a human being. Every person inevitably strays from the path. Life is an endless experiment and course correction. The vision brings one back to the true path.Thomas G Bandy
Are you where you envisioned yourself five years ago? If yes, then you may have found your true north. If not, you may need to check your bearings to find out where you are. To find your true north, you need to know where you are going and why you are going there.
Below are some of the ways that can guide you to find your true north.
1. Fall in Love with Mindfulness
Most people agree that the highest truth when it comes to self-discovery is, “To thine own self be true.” Michael Alan Singer, the author of the Untethered Soul, challenges this concept. In his introduction to the book, he asks, “To which self are we to be true to?”
Is it the one that speaks from the dark recesses of the heart? Or is it the one that appears when life seems fanciful and adventurous?
When you look at life from this lens, then you may notice that the concept of self is somewhat elusive.
The book introduces us to an ongoing internal dialogue fueled by our thoughts, emotions, feelings, and senses. For instance, the left brain and the right brain produce different thoughts. While the right brain produces creative and impulsive thoughts, the left brain produces critical and logical thoughts. Your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and senses have their true north of sorts. In this context, you can have a true north guided by your thoughts, by your feelings or even emotions. If your true north is born of such objects, then it may seem fleeting.
Someone once defined mindfulness as the art of bringing your awareness into the present moment. If you bring this awareness into your internal world, you will realize that you are the witness of the internal dialogue. When you know the observer, then you will get acquainted with your true being. When you know your true being, it will be easy for you to find your true north.
2. Practice Mastery
It is not enough to know your true being. You need to ensure that your true being is the CEO of your internal world.
To understand the internal world, you need to be aware of the Subject-Object relationship. Most psychologists agree that the true being seats as the subject witnessing everything that is going on in your life. Your feelings, thoughts, and emotions, on the other hand, are objects.
When the true being is seated as an observer of the internal world, you have mastery over yourself. If the true being loses the seat and becomes part of the object, you lose mastery over yourself, and your soul becomes lost in the process.
Conscious awareness entails being aware of the following states.
What am I feeling?
What am I thinking?
What are my emotions?
What are my active senses right now?
Practicing conscious awareness is, therefore, important for you to gain mastery over self and to find your true north.
3. Prioritize Meditation
The intensity of your internal dialogue will largely depend on energy build-up from your stress levels. It is the reason why stress makes it hard for people to think clearly. When you meditate, it is easy for you to deal with stress.
When you have a tranquil mind, it is easy for you to discover your soul intention, which will, in turn, lead you to your true north.
4. Discover your Mission
A mission is simply a quest to solve an underlying problem. It is an intrinsic desire or passion that leads you to your purpose. We have different talents and abilities that fuel our purpose at different times in life.
Below are some guiding questions that you can use to discover your mission.
- What is the most pressing need at the time?
- How do my gifts and talents serve the need of the time?
- Which of these gifts and talents do I want to do?
- Which of these gifts do I want to do right now?
5. Be Intentional About Creating a Life Map
To participate in any navigational activity, you need to have a map as well as a compass. While a compass helps you to find true north, a map is a reference point for the direction you are going. It is hard to use the two items separately since a compass can help you know the true north, but it will not show you the best way to get to where you want to go.
Similarly, a life map is a self-development tool that helps you to build your life. A life map helps you to get clear on what you want and figure out how you are going to get there. It may be in the form of a journal, a LifeBook, or even a vision board.
When you have a life map, it becomes easy for you to celebrate how far you have come and to stay on course. It is also easy for you to know where you are in case you lose your bearing from all of life’s distractions.
Do you know where you are headed and do you know how to get there?
Until the next post, let your soul sing!