Do you know where you are headed in life? Are you going in a direction with intention or are you going with the flow, allowing life to guide your steps?
This question got me to thinking about how folks have navigated their lives over the course of time, especially the ancient seagoers.
For me, the thought of getting in a boat, leaving shore, and heading out beyond sight of land creates a good deal of concern. I suppose if I could sail along the edge of land, I’d be okay, but crossing an ocean by myself, no way.
I wondered how the early seafarers managed to arrive at their destinations, especially if they were going somewhere no one had ever been before.
I did a little research and discovered that they used the sun and the North Star (Polaris) to help guide them. Always knowing where north was became extremely important to them as a reference point. While the sun was up, they could easily track their east/west route and at noon they carefully watched the shadows the sun cast. They also became familiar with the constellations in the night sky as navigational aids. There was even a reference to watching the flight paths of birds and the direction the fish were swimming to help set their course.
What does all of this have to do with us?
Well, one thing it suggests to me is, what do we use as our aids to navigate our lives?
No doubt there are many ways for us to move through our lives and I’m wondering if I asked you, could you tell me how you do it?
Do you have a set of intentions, a kind of road map for what you desire to experience in your life? It strikes me that without intentions, it is very difficult to arrive where we say we want to go, for if we don’t have any set points we often drift an aimless path.
I’m not saying there aren’t times when it’s nice to kick back and relax, but it seems to me that most folks want to experience certain things in their lives and without knowing what they are, it is much more challenging to have them.
One thing that may help is to have some mid-points between your starting and end points. Sort of mini goals that keep you on track. Often it is easier to make advancements when your goal is nearer and seems more practical. Breaking down the process can be especially helpful when you start to veer off course from a mid-point because you can bring yourself back and not stress over how far afield you are from your end point.
What other navigational aids are there in reaching our intentions?
Perhaps you have many you use, and I hope they always help you reach all of your dreams. However, if you could use a few suggestions, here are the ones that come to me.
Although I’m not usually good at this, it has been one of the most important pathways to succeeding in my life…ask for help. None of us know everything, so it’s important to have your own North Stars in your life, folks who want to help you. And once you’ve asked for help, accept it when it’s offered to you. Learn from what’s given to you. It may not be the precise way for you, but it may spark something in you that does create a path forward.
I also believe we are all gifted. We came here with an idea in mind of what we’d like to experience while here. Each of us has an inner knowing. So, believe in yourself and then surround yourself with others who believe in you and who share your dreams. They can be cheerleaders helping you reach all of your mid-points and all of your end points.
6 Replies to “Plotting Your Course”
I need to work on the asking for help aspect. This post brings to mind the quote by Seneca – “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
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I like the quote and agree. Asking doesn’t seem to be the long suit of self reliant people, but it can become one of their superpowers. I’m still trying.
Get the hell outta my head!!! 😂
People are oh so different, aren’t they? Some have fantastic plans that work for them and others fly by the seat of their dungarees. The reality is that dreams are for dreamers and plans + action are for conquerers. No one can do the work for you, so if you aren’t willing to do the work, put the airpods back into your ears and step out of the way. Someone with intention needs to get by, and others serve no purpose for anyone, including themselves.
As someone who’s fight hard and relentlessly for thirty years, determined on getting back the life I deserve, but do not remember, a strange realization hit me yesterday.
My father, of whom I’m mostly distanced, texted me to say, “Happy Mother’s Day.”
Making small talk, I asked him what he’s been up to. His response? “I’m more or less just routing my life away.”
He said this to his daughter who’s survived amnesia. “Rotting my life away.” I thought he had a lot of nerve being so pretentious.
Now that I look around and post attention, I see how wrong I am. I’m the odd man out. Most people are content with rising each day, driving to work, talking on the phone and hitting a few keys on the computer before returning home to unwind and start again tomorrow.
I’m so distraught. What happened to me could happen to anyone!!! Actually! I wasn’t being careless. I was doing as I was instructed by a physician, no less, and lost everything.
The most unfortunate thing I’ve seen in my entire life, bar none, is people existing. People who do absolutely nothing with their two hands and feet, eyesight, hearing, and so many opportunities——and ask they do is sit, rotting their life away.
How completely and utterly stupid is that?
I wish you well in your determined search for a better way, for yourself and for others that mean something to you.
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Generally speaking, I’m butterflies and rainbows. All of the training I have constitutes a fair way of resolving what I’m so knotted up about. At the same time, I oddly feel as though I deserve this private Hell I’ve created for myself.
Perhaps this is a great time to divorce the internet for a bit of self-reflection. 😉