Looking for a Map When I Need a Compass

Disclaimer: No metaphors were harmed while writing this article.

On of my go-tos when I get overwhelmed and my mind gets frazzled is to surf the job sites for something more meaningful to do. Because, you know, my current job is of course not meaningful and having something meaningful to work with will solve all my problems. Right?

But the problem is, I have no idea what meaningful really means to me.

Looking for a map

The other thing is, I’m not a goal-oriented person. Never have been. Shocking, right? Because to be happy, you have to know what you want and then go for it.

Yeah, right. I bought into that for a long time as well. All the advice about building a (lifestyle) business is full of goals, wants and visions. But I could never stick to one — and blamed myself with being deficient: “You have to have goals. You have to figure out what you want, dammit. What’s wrong with you!?”

In other words, I was looking for a map that would lead me to being happy, satisfied, respected, famous, sexy, … Well, you get the idea.

But maybe, I need a compass?

But, just recently, I started to accept that I don’t know what I want. Very freeing — in the fleeting moments it works. But those brief flickers offer me glimpses into a different way of thinking, onto a different mindscape. One where I don’t burn energy on chasing something that’s not a fit for me. Where I don’t get stressed by not having something that I don’t need.

So, maybe, I need a compass. Not something that gives a path, but orientation. Not goals, but values and principles. And equipped with that, I can then look around at the world and inside myself and choose from what is already there — guided by my compass.

(Or maybe my compass is working fine and I’m just standing at the magnetic north and it has nowhere to point to. Or maybe I’m overthinking things. Again.)

Over to you

Map or compass for you? Both? Neither?

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