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Is it time to recalibrate your compass?

Saturday, May 31, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

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There’s a lot of talk, in personal development and activist circles, about finding your purpose. I’m wary of that turn of phrase, with it’s implication that ‘purpose’ is both singular and fixed. I think of it more as ‘living a purposeful life’, or – as my friend Tara puts it ‘recognising your callings‘, plural.

Julia Butterfly Hill calls it ‘finding your true north’, which suggests to me a steady point of reference for our changing journey rather than a fixed destination or path. So, to borrow that metaphor, lately I’ve been recalibrating my compass.

Recently I was invited to an event at which each person was asked to introduce themselves with three words or phrases that described what it was we were most interested and engaged in, at the moment. I found this surprisingly hard.

So I went back to the basics.

I asked myself: What am I most curious about? What could I talk or read about for hours and hours on end? What excites me? What do I want to learn more about? What would I study and practice for the pure joy and love of it?

The first answer was obvious: story

The second took a little longer to find, but once it came it was equally clear: courage

The third was harder again. Initially I thought it might be justice. Or perhaps change. And then I remembered the tagline of my newest project: people powered change

I study and practice story because it’s how we make sense of our experiences, how we come to understand ourselves and each other, how we explore other possible futures and how we share our vision for the world with each other.

I study and practice courage because everything I care about takes courage – community, connection, compassion, curiosity, clarity and – above all else – the transformation of our world into a safer, kinder, fairer and healthier place.

I have faith in people-powered change, especially when it is fuelled by courage and transmitted through story.

So that’s my latest recalibration of my own true north. How about you?

What are you most curious about? What could you talk or read about for hours and hours on end? What excites you? What do you want to learn more about? What would you study and practice for the pure joy and love of it?

What is calling you these days?



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3 Responses to "Is it time to recalibrate your compass?"

  1. I love what you said about purpose not being “singular and fixed” – a big yes to that!

  2. Paula says:

    Good (useful) question: what am I “most interested and engaged in, at the moment?” (Love the “at the moment” openness). It’s tough to say, but I’ve been writing about “softening” and “kindness”, and after revisting your post about yoga making you a better writer, I will add “releasing tension”. Never really thought about releasing tension as work, but it truly is. Conscious recalibration is a great idea.

  3. Tammy says:

    This IS my theme at the moment. I feel like I am being recalibrated, rather than the other way around. wondering what the orientation will be

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