Word Count: 1121
Estimated Reading Time: 8.6 minutes
“What you cherish at your core, is what you aim at with your life.” – Craig Groeschel
The Art of Navigation
Long long before GPS and Google, explorers used a compass to set and stay on a course. Two main types of navigation, dead reckoning and celestial, were prevalent but prone to error. Once this occurred, explorers would be doomed to sailing miles off course without any clue where they were headed.
The compass, on the other hand, was so reliable that Christopher Columbus once said, “the compass always seeks the truth.” This insight of navigation at sea is also true of navigation in life. Without a compass providing a course to keep us directionally aligned, we can wander aimlessly through life. With a compass in view, we can set and stay the course despite the twists and turns of life.
In this month’s blog series, we will venture into navigating the course of our lives. Below is a list of upcoming topics:
- 3 Keys to Setting Your Course (today’s post)
- How to Adjust Your Sails (arriving on 4/11)
- Dealing with the Pressure of Deep Water (arriving on 4/18)
- How to Make it Through a Bad Day (arriving on 4/25)
Let’s begin with 3 keys to setting your course.
Know Your Purpose
Mark Twain famously said, “The two most important days in life are the day you were born and the day you discover the reason why.” Simon T. Bailey explains purpose as, “the point at which your talents, skills, abilities, and gifts intersect with a void or a need in the world around you.” He continues by presenting three questions to help align your why and what:
- What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
- What would I do even in nobody paid me to do it?
- What makes me come alive?
To be honest, question 2 used to be a no brainer until I wrote my first book. In, Discover Your Treasure, I provide steps to discover what has been deposited in you and how to draw it out. It did not sell as well as I expected. Question 2 became my point of tension. I battled with the urge to quit citing that maybe I am not a writer. Maybe this was all a huge mistake. The chatterbox in my mind, inciting me to fold and return to my cage of normalcy, was deafening.
But question 2 also became my comfort. I enjoy writing, whether I make money or not. Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl once said, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by a lack of meaning and purpose.” My purpose to write trumps any profit I get from it. Don’t get me wrong, profit is good but fulfilling my purpose is of greater worth and reward. My writing is not primarily for personal gain but to glorify God and serve others by encouraging them to live a higher quality of life. I may not live up to expected sales, but I aim to live up to my purpose.
The effect of purpose makes a difference to the world around you. Making a difference can be as simple as smiling the next time you meet someone. And it’s from my purpose that I draw out and channel my passion to deliver my best each time I sit to write. “For a man without a purpose is like a ship without its rudder” as quoted by Thomas Carlyle. How would you answer the questions above?
Channel Your Passion
Bringing your heart not just your head and hands is crucial to course setting in life. Without a heart or passion for something, whatever you do will be short lived. Real estate mogul and Shark Tank investor, Barbara Corcoran remarked, “You cannot fake passion.” Christopher Columbus had a heart for exploration. This kept him persistent in asking for necessary resources until someone finally agreed to fund his expedition. He kept to the three principles of persistence that Jesus taught: ask, seek, and knock. I have learned through personal experience that passion can convert from enthusiasm to endurance. This is vital when overcoming obstacles.
Passion is like fire. When channeled appropriately it can accomplish tremendous feats. If misappropriated, it can lead to catastrophic outcomes. The same fire that warms up a house can burn it down when it gets out of control. Channeling your passion is about focusing it towards habits that ignite your purpose and drive it forward. As your purpose and passion work in tandem, a plan to bring both to reality is required.
Map Your Plan
Your plan answers the question, “What are you doing today to fulfill your purpose and channel your passion? It is the combination of daily actions that implement your plan. It’s the process that leads to the prize. How you are going to get from where you are to where you want to be? My process for writing my first book was 300 words a day. In business, these are called executables. Author Michael Hyatt says, “Without a plan, you can drift through life into unsatisfactory relationships and unfulfilling work.” With a plan, we can stave off the temptation to coast through life. To opt for the path of least resistance by doing the bare minimum.
Your plan should not be simply to feel better. Such an objective makes your plan a bag with holes in it. But if your plan is to be better and it is congruent to your purpose and passion, then you will find joy in doing it. Because you are satisfying the reason why you exist.
Formulate a plan that is:
- Practical: Can it be employed on a daily basis? Consistency is vital to the success of any plan. What you know is good but applying what you know is where progress happens.
- Clear: Don’t guess your plan, clarify it. Write, visualize, and own it. Can you explain it to someone else in a way they can understand?
- Accountable: Increase commitment by finding someone to hold you accountable. You can use weekly or monthly progress reports to express this.
Final thought: Setting a life course is really a discovery into who you are made to be. What you are called to do. It is the intention to live fully sentient of your custom-made assignment in life. Your life course will stretch you and will require that you live by faith every step of the way. But the desire to live the life designed for you is ultimately a choice that we all have to make and set the course to see it in reality. Are you willing to leave the shores of comfort and venture into the waters of your purpose? I assure you, the journey will be worth it.
Keep on Keeping on!