When you navigate your next, you need a compass and a map.
If you were going to hike a new trail, would you bring a compass or a map?
You can only choose one and there’s no cell service, but the distance and terrain are within your strength and skill levels. If you can follow the sun or stars, skip the compass. If it’s an out and back hike and you’re good at noticing landmarks, skip the map.
You can navigate the physical world with either a compass or a map, or neither.
To navigate new chapters in our lives, it takes both.
What’s your five-year plan?
Inside my head: that’s way too long, life’s too uncertain and changes too fast, that’s not what you want to hear, I need this job, I have to say something that will make hire me, QUICK!
Before I could form the words, next question:
Do you plan to have kids?
Inside my head, SHOUTING;
Do the math, my graduation date is on my resume, I’m old, I’m single, and besides, could you have possibly asked a more inappropriate, not to mention illegal, question?
I blurted something about holding plans loosely because things change quickly and what a great fit I was for the exciting opportunity.
They offered me the job.
Head honcho’s disregard for the law and general level of creepiness sickened me. I kept hearing the old adage about fish stinking from the head down. If leadership acts like this . . .
But school started in ten days, I had a ton of grad school debt, the salary was significantly higher than my one other offer and the organization and program had fabulous reputations. How bad could it be?
I took the gig.
Not one of my better decisions.
Failing to check my internal compass led me to follow the wrong map.
You need both a compass and a map to navigate life transitions effectively and with ease.
The compass check comes first and involves getting clear about your values, strengths and priorities.
Values and strengths are ways of being and doing in the world, respectively; ways of navigating the world that come so easily to you, you like either don’t notice them or think they’re not big deal.
Get clear about your values and strengths, use them, and you’ll navigate more effectively and joyfully.
Priorities matter because, while personal energy may be a renewable resource, time isn’t. We each only get 24 hours each day and only have so many days left. Getting clear about what matters most, right now, helps you make wise decisions much more easily.
So leave the map or the compass (or both) behind when you go for a hike.
When you embark on a new life chapter, though, be sure to check your compass – get clear about your values, strengths and priorities – so you can draw and follow the right map for you when you.
Ready to start to Navigate Your Next? I can help. Schedule a complimentary consultation and we’ll talk about how.
image: Pixabay; used with permission