Here I presently exist glaring life dead in the eyes wondering how in the hell am I going to make this? How will I live another day without setting myself up for failure in the present and future? It is as though I am taught by my societal upbringing that life should be magnificent and anything less than that, is a failure.
"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." >Arnold Schwarzenegger<
Feeling the lack of tools to face the pressure of life's demands on navigating the hard aspects of life, I started to wonder if there was a sort of unbiased compass or plumb line that I could look to with trust to help me obtain the desired destination. I was looking in my toolbelt for this compass of conviction that I believe any man should consider in times of hardship.
This compass of conviction was something I realized has kept me on a track in life that I have never regretted. It has been a constant source of security for me over the years, and sometimes it came through the form of religion, other times through a friend talking to me, or merely my intuition screaming from within how I honestly felt about a situation.
So before I explain what I believe this compass looks like it's my desire to explain my intention. I have the hopes that specifically men will take the time to learn how this tool works and lean on it when they feel lost or just want re-assurance that they are headed in the right direction. I have had many conversations with male friends who feel helpless through life's obstacles externally and internally. Also, if women find this helpful also that is great I just have noticed in my life it seems like a more predominant struggle for the men. I hope the following attributes which I have taken the time to scribe down will help at minimum one other human to get through life because I know it has helped me.
Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.
The compass of conviction.
The following attributes are what I believe define the compass of conviction. This is however not an absolute just an example and starting point. I think every human should self-evaluate and adjust this tool appropriately so that the most optimal help is harvested.
1) Taking a breath.
When all is chaos, and the overwhelming feeling of helplessness is at my doorstep I find it more than necessary to take a moment and breath. The importance of this cannot be emphasized enough, in my opinion, how I most recently did this was an emotional stirring had occurred where I was thinking about a past crush from long ago that involved my heart getting hurt. The observance of this past struggle put me in an emotional storm of sorts, and I felt helpless and unsure. So I decided to navigate through it. I took a breath.
What this looked like in this particular scenario was me silently sitting in my apartment and practicing a form of uncomplicated meditation. I sat there and focused in on my pain and confusion, not looking for answers, but not letting myself be overwhelmed by it. So there I was, silently sitting in my apartment with my eyes closed, breathing rhythmically, and going on a mental journey through the minefield of this past hurt. I didn't find a clear answer to why it was so painful, but in making time to take a breath, I rediscovered the direction I wanted to head in life and no longer did this past pain cloud my vision. It was a fascinating experience, and I am extremely glad I took the time to breathe. In the past, I have been stuck walking in circles and feeling lost for extended periods of time due to pain very similar to the one above.
2)Knowing your North.
Do you know what direction North is? If you have ever used an actual compass on a hike or out of curiosity, you would understand the necessity of learning how to find where North is. It is one of the most important parts of being able to use a compass. If you want to know more about reading an actual compass check out this article(CLICK HERE). If you are able to find out where North is, it will help you orientate yourself and assist in making the journey more efficient and safe.
So you might by asking yourself what does knowing my North look like in life? Practically, I believe if you are looking at this "compass of conviction" and trying to navigate through life, finding North may look like doing an internal check to see where your personal convictions are pointing. I say convictions with the intent of meaning beliefs, passions, and hopes.
Once you know where your convictions(North) are pointing, you can use the appropriate abilities to hone in on how you can get to your desired destination. What does this look like? Let me try and explain this.
I personally have been stuck on one personal issue recently of what to do as a profession with my life. I have not been able to make a firm decision to move forward in any particular direction because I have been unable to find my North if I was to be transparent. I know the destination I hope to get to, I can see the obstacle in front of me, but finding my North is what is holding me up from moving forward. I don't want to be stuck walking in circles in this current proverbial forest I am in. So, I have been making the conscious decision to rediscover, find, and redefine my beliefs, passions, and hopes so that I may find my north which in turn will allow me to know the next direction I need to go on my journey. It's me asking myself questions like "Do I believe in God?" "What core values do I have?" "Is money something I am willing to override my dreams?" "Should I listen to particular advice from others in my life?"
I hope you can find your North, also don't be surprised if your North changes through the seasons.
3) Knowing your map.
I think this aspect is crucial. I believe knowing your map looks like the following, it is the developing of the analytical and knowledge side of one's brain which in turn helps give you concrete steps of how to navigate life. I think a major way to learn the map of life is learning from other people's lives. This could be through reading books, having conversations, or maybe listening to a podcast. I just have a firm belief that the continuation of educating one's self is so important. You could look at it like instead of having to learn that fire is hot on your own through burning your hand, someone took the time to teach you that fact when you were young in order to help you avoid that pain which could scathe you for life. I think observing the past, and present world humans live in, enables ones-self to prevent core issues. I am not saying there will not be hardships and pain along your journey but learning from others will allow you to read the map of life and know how to navigate it more efficiently.
I know this whole topic may be a bit vague and it is my hope that if it is unclear to you that you will feel comfortable enough to either comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I know I don't have the answers to everything, but this compass of conviction has been a lifeline for me, and I wanted to share it with others. If you liked this post, I hope you take the time to comment and share it!