Feeling Powerless? Build Your Own Compass
When everything is up in the air as it is today, where do you turn for guidance? What happens when you can no longer rely on the normal roads and routes you’ve used in the past to get where you want to go? And what can you do to counter the overwhelming feeling of powerlessness that has many of us in its grip?
When you think about it, there are two options. First, you can look to others for direction, but that approach invariably leaves us frustrated when ever-changing information causes the views to shift of those we look to. The second option is to look inside yourself to set a direction that you can rely on—one that’s more stable and trusted, because it’s your own.
Q: How can you set your own course when the road ahead seems so unpredictable?
A: When the old roadmap isn’t working anymore, choose to create your own compass.
Growing up, we didn’t travel much. My dad worked hard and so when it was time for vacation, the last thing he wanted to do was pile the family in the car for a long drive to a new sight or city. He just wanted to take it easy and relax. Rather than taking extravagant vacations, which we couldn’t afford, we took small day trips or simply drove to a familiar place using a different route. My favorite was a farm 20 miles from home that served the best ice cream on the planet. Maybe ice cream led to my love of roadmaps and my understanding of the importance of a compass.
First, consider roadmaps. Your driving preferences may change under different circumstances, but a roadmap offers alternatives. At times you might want the most direct way from point A to point B. At other times you may want to slow down, enjoy the ride, and take a detour. And sometimes you just want to take a new road. And when things don’t go as planned, sometimes a roadmap gives you alternatives to fall back on.
But with all the unprecedented events we are living through today, many of us are finding that the old roadmaps we’ve been relying on are falling short. We seem to be headed in areas where no one has been before. What do you do when there is no road?
The answer is, you use a compass.
When you’re unsure about what’s ahead, a compass is your best tool. You use it when you have a general idea of direction you’d like to go but you are faced with the task of blazing a new trail. You might get advice and counsel from others, but getting to this new place will have a lot more to do with your ability to do things your way. And you’ll be more successful as you get better connecting what you do to who you are. This is where your true power comes from.
Your personal compass can identify simple choices to increase your clarity, energy, and impact as you expand your confidence and influence. I have found great utility in the link between choices and a compass. In fact, I developed the extensively road-tested Power Compass to Be Chief to help you, and those around you to succeed.
Yes, even in tough times.
(This story was excerpted from Be Chief: It’s a Choice, Not a Title, Second Edition, slated for April 7, 2020 publication, where 100% of author proceeds will be donated to Easterseals in support of their work to help individuals with challenges become true Chiefs. Pre-publication book orders can be made on Amazon now.)