Central and North Burnett Times - - MIND - MIND YOU WORDS: ROWENA HARDY Rowena Hardy is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned: mind­

When you look back over your life so far, has it gone ex­actly as planned? If so, whose plan was it? It’s pos­si­ble your life was mapped out for you by your pri­mary carer, par­ents or sig­nif­i­cant per­son be­fore or soon af­ter you were born un­til early adult­hood. It of­ten in­cludes a pre-de­ter­mined kindy, pri­mary and sec­ondary school and cer­tain ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar events and it’s likely that lit­tle of it was your choice. While some may have thrived from this ap­proach, there are plenty who prob­a­bly strug­gled or had un­happy ex­pe­ri­ences dur­ing that pe­riod. My point is that our jour­ney from leav­ing full-time parental care to leav­ing school, when­ever that is, cre­ates the plat­form for the life we lead but not nec­es­sar­ily the life of our choos­ing. The de­ci­sion to fol­low the map may con­tinue when we leave school, get a job, start a trade or choose a ca­reer. Our choice to learn or study or take a cer­tain path is of­ten in­flu­enced by oth­ers, who may be keen for us to fol­low in their foot­steps or heed their ad­vice and rec­om­men­da­tions based on what they be­lieve is best for us. As a re­sult, we may end up hav­ing been in our job for a while, com­pleted our ap­pren­tice­ship or fin­ished our stud­ies and won­der­ing if we made the right de­ci­sion. If we stop and think for a mo­ment, we may re­alise we have had lit­tle say or choice in the mat­ter or felt that we had to con­tinue with the map given to us to avoid po­ten­tial con­flict or up­set. What if we were to de­cide to put away the map we’ve been given and in­stead use our in­ner compass as a guide? The pur­pose of a compass is to help us find our own way to where we want to be so, if we come to a stage when we won­der what we’re do­ing with our life and how we got there, it’s an op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with that clear in­ner compass that aids in point­ing us to our true north, our in­ner truth and val­ues. We all have child­hood dreams of be­ing some­thing or fol­low­ing a cer­tain path when we grow up – a doc­tor, teacher, po­lice­woman or ad­ven­turer per­haps, but our dreams are of­ten put aside or buried deep as we fol­low the map into some­one else’s ter­ri­tory. While there, we may lose the joy of ed­u­ca­tion and miss out on the serendip­i­tous op­por­tu­ni­ties of ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing about the world in gen­eral and our­selves in par­tic­u­lar. It’s never too late to re­con­nect to your in­ner compass, cast aside the map you’ve been fol­low­ing and cre­ate one of your own. Who knows where you may end up?

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