There is a difference between true and magnetic north. If you’re using a compass to cruise the neighborhood it doesn’t really matter. On the other hand if you’re using it to guide you on a long but important journey it makes all the difference between success and failure.
The difference in degrees is sometimes so small it seems inconsequential
Why should you care? All of us have our own true north as well as a magnetic north. Our magnetic north is the desire that’s hard to escape. There are some things that exert an external pull on us. Maybe it’s work, or Alcohol, or video games. Yours could be gossip, self-doubt, someone other than your spouse or worry. Everybody has something that exerts a magnetic influence that changes the course of the direction of Their live.
The most common magnetic influence is also perhaps the most subtle and difficult to change. Normalcy. The incredible urge to fit in that can lead to complacency, boredom and mediocrity. It’s such an acceptable and pervasive influence that’s its rarely recognized for what it is. It in fact is a thief to what’s most unique and great about us. It robs us of our true potential and bars us from realizing our dreams.
True north is the direction that nourishes our spirit. It’s the direction that leads to a life we can truly be proud of. Even when it seems like that life is 180 degrees from the life we’ve been living getting there is usually a matter of a one-degree shift.
Imagine you shift from magnetic north to true north. If each step you take represents one day. After one step it’s almost impossible to notice any change between your new course and your old course. The two paths are only a half inch apart. After one day your left thinking this doesn’t work but I’m a patient person so I’ll give it two days. After two days the difference between the paths is still only an inch, any little loss of balance will move you back to your old course. It seems like you aren’t making the kind of progress you should.
If you hold to the path after a month there’s 15 inches separating your new course from the old. Any obstruction or obstacle you have to walk around may have you cross your old path. The magnetic pull is still strong and “Oop’s” you seem to have slipped back to your old ways. The critics around you will nod their heads and say “I knew it”. Those who never left that life will welcome you back with open arms and now you have to start all over again with a one- degree shift.
The difference we want in our life’s journey shows up at the end of it not the beginning. When you get to true north you find that even though each step only carried you a slightly away from your old course you have moved so far it’s hard to imagine where you’d be without that little shift.
Written by: Steve Sherwood