The compass is a design thinking framework for planning transitions in your life.
Whether you’re new to the workforce, feeling stuck or preparing for your encore career, it’s time a good time to use the compass framework.
Components of the compass
The compass has four categories: Life, Work, Health and Play. Ideally all the categories should feel full but in periods of change which happens every 5-7 years, one of the categories might be a little deflated or flat.
Imagine how it would feel trying to drive a car with a flat tire or two. You would have to slow way down and eventually stop to fill or change the tire[s]. That’s essentially what you need to when your life isn’t humming along the way you expect.
Assess your compass
Let’s start with the category that often gets overlooked when you have too many demands on your time – play!
Play should be about having fun. By definition, fun is anything you do for enjoyment, amusement and lighthearted pleasure. It could be playing games, hiking, cycling, gardening, attending seasonal festivals or whatever activity that doesn’t demand anything of you but joy.
Work in contrast is an activity that demands physical or mental effort to achieve a purpose or goal. Work can be both compensated or non-compensated.
Less than 30% of people work in the field that they study. It takes some effort to find a way to apply your skills in a way that continually gives you meaning and fulfillment at work.
According to book Designing your Life, everyone has at least 7 different possible career paths. Your job is to narrow them down to 3 and then use design thinking to test each path to select the best one for you. At a loss for how to start?
Start with what you are doing or intend to do, then if that job was eliminated, what you would do and then if money wasn’t a factor in your decision, what would you do? Talk to people to create lots of options and gain new insights, consult or start a side hustle to test the different paths.
Is simply the state of being free of illness or injury. Like fun, health often takes a back seat to Work and Life when people have too many constraints on their time and financial resources.
Health is rewarding in itself because it gives you the energy needed to live your best life.
Is the very existence of human life which includes the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity and continual change.
The only end point is death. So prepare for the journey and try to find the joy or silver lining in every twist and turn in your path even when it’s hard to see the light.
Family, good friends and a strong community can make the hard times easier. When all else fails, trust in yourself and revisit your compass to find your way forward.
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