There isn’t a map for our lives.
We can, of course, create maps and plans for ourselves and they can prove to be quite useful, but ultimately, the plans only maximize their usefulness when they are being guided by our inner compass. If you’re moving in the opposite direction your inner compass is pointing you, you will be left feeling like you are always taking wrong turns. Something will constantly feel off.
Because there isn’t a map, we have to be very cautious about people trying to create a map for us.
Almost always well-meaning, our parents and teachers and friends and other people in our lives will try to create a map for you. This is a good way to keep you busy and out of trouble, but is not always ideal for helping you find what you were made to do.
We create maps because it makes us feel safer and more in control. But the map is useless if it’s taking us in the wrong direction.
If you follow your internal compass, there’s a very good chance your life will look unconventional to the rest of the world.
That’s okay. Remember this: You hasn’t been done before. Your life hasn’t been lived. So why should your life look like anyone else’s?
We create maps because then we can make copies and hand them out to anyone looking for somewhere to go–anyone that hasn’t yet realized they have an inner compass.
It’s easy work to hand out maps. It’s safe. Soon we can start to predict what will happen to each person: how much money they’ll make on this path, what their typical day will look like, and where they will likely live. And as humans, we like the predictability. We like to know where we are going and how we’ll end up, even if, deep down, we know something feels off about it. Better safe than sorry.
When you follow your compass, you’re not signing up for the easiest path.
It will have its share of difficult and demanding work. Probably more so than if you were to follow a predefined map. It requires creativity and intentional action to navigate (both of which you do have). It requires boldness and resilience. You will have incredibly fulfilling days followed by days of struggle and doubt. You won’t always be able to find shortcuts by Googling “how to get from A to B” because your “A to B” hasn’t been done before.
It will feel uncomfortable at times and even feel unsafe.
But the truth is, it is the safest path you can take.
It won’t be the easiest path but, alas, it will be the right path.
When you sign yourself up for living the compass-driven life, most people won’t understand. Surround yourself with people who do. Ask for their support. Use them to bounce ideas and worries off of. Even your failures. Because people who understand that you’re living from your internal compass will know that this road is littered with challenges and unique twists and turns. You’ll need the support from someone who isn’t there to say, “I warned you,” but instead encouragingly says, “what did you learn?” and “would you want it any other way?”