We all come to crossroads in our lives. Consequential life decisions that– no matter their size– always have the potential to have long-term impact on our personal life, professional life, and even our family life. Many people try to navigate these crossroads without a true compass, without a true sense of purpose. We would never try to navigate a new city without knowing where we were going or which direction we were heading, yet when it comes to something as important as the precious time we have left in our lives, we can go in circles.
In our work at The Center for Conscious Living and Fulfillment TM, we realized that most of the people we helped came to us when they were at or nearing one of these crossroads. Whether consciously, or unconsciously, they were seeking help finding their inner compass. As business owners, founders and other high achievers, these folks often have compasses that are plagued by interference, by magnets that cause their compass to point in directions other than their true north.
So what do I mean by these magnets? High achievers have often created their achievements by drivers like notoriety, stature, authority, or simply to “win.” While this may be useful at times, what these external validators do not allow for is the long-term joy, peace and fulfillment that comes from a purpose-driven life. They are drivers that are attached to the opinions of others. To ego-centric outcomes and external validation.
You may have heard of the study that was done by a hospice nurse some years ago. Over a span of several years, she asked dozens of patients what their top regret in their life was. The number one regret from most all of these people was this.
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
When we speak of your true compass, this is what we mean. A life built on what is truly important to you. One that is aligned with your core values, your vision for yourself and the ones you love, and utilizes your strengths and talents.
This is a courageous conversation. It often means going against the grain, taking a hard look at the stories keeping us stuck, and doing things in a way that may seem unconventional. So often I have seen business owners asking questions like “Should I sell my business? When? What will I do afterwards?” but they are paralyzed to making any actual decisions due to fear or overwhelm. The crossroads gets kicked down the road just a bit, again and again.
But having this conversation is worth it. How much time do you actually have left? If you lived to be 100, how many more days is that? How many months? How many holidays? When you are living your life with purpose, based on what is important to you, you will find fulfillment and happiness like you never have before.
Your money and energy can be replenished. Your time cannot.
If you are at or approaching a crossroads I would encourage you to start by asking yourself the following questions.
- What are my top three core values?
- Am I living in alignment to these values? And if not, where am I off course?
- What do I want the rest of my life to look like, in all areas of my life?
- How much of my time is spent utilizing my strengths, gifts and talents?
Your dharma lies in the answer to these questions.
As a result of the work that folks do with us – which includes self-discovery, vision alignment, and implementation– they are able to find their center and make critical decisions that are based on outcomes of peace, joy and fulfillment. This work not only gives them a clear starting point in navigating their crossroads, but also allows them to build the rest of their lives with renewed sense of purpose, both in and outside of their business.
Living our human experience to the fullest is heart-centered work. It is the process of discovering our authentic selves, our true compass, and then creating a life that aligns with that discovery. It requires courage, vulnerability and the death of much of what we have been told to believe.
Gandhi once said, “The future depends on what you do today.”
Whether or not you make a decision in the near or distant future to turn left or right at your crossroads, start TODAY in making sure your compass is pointing you in the right direction.
Resources to get started.
The Secret Thoughts of CEOs Podcast