The concept and reality of the NORTH STAR has been around for centuries. Scientifically speaking, the North Star, or Polaris, is the brightest star in Ursa Minor constellation (the Big Dipper). Unlike other stars we see in the night sky Polaris stays constant in the sky no matter the season. It was the star that early explorers used to navigate their journeys. It is said to have been the star that slaves trying to escape their oppressors in the south used as they fled toward the north during the civil war years.
So, with this scientific and historical context, what is your NORTH STAR? What is the one point in the sky that you are seeking, moving toward, focusing on? Question too deep? Maybe you could start by making a list of your values – those key concepts you hold most dear and that define you as a person/worker/spouse/parent/citizen. With your values in mind, you can then begin defining your own North Star.
Each of us has a lot to do – too much on some days, right? We could all fill our days with any number of tasks. Our email inbox is screaming at us – “check me, check me!” Our TO-DO list grows longer and longer. And the voicemail box gets fuller and fuller. Each of these distractions offers an excuse to postpone our quest.
It is hard to decide what you should be concentrating on right now to move you closer to that elusive North Star. Most of us tend to focus on the URGENT, sacrificing the IMPORTANT. We get distracted, sidetracked, drawn in unproductive and sometimes even self-destructive directions. That is when we need to ask ourselves that ever important question: What is the most important thing?
Of course, the answer is different for everyone. Will it mean going back to school? Seeking that new job? Starting that business you’ve always wanted to start? Will it mean getting out of your own way, clearing the urgent from your mind so that you can truly point your thinking toward the elusive, but essential, North Star?
So, for this week, and every week, let’s look North, shall we?