You Don’t Get a Map, You Get a Compass Part 2

By Cindy Hartner, Director of Global Sales, DMC Network

I have completed one of my life goals – I have written a book!  It’s called ‘You Don’t Get a Map, You Get a Compass,’ and I am so proud to be able to share some of my messages with you here. I will be covering each of the below topics over the next three months, so do keep an eye for our newsletters in your inbox’s – some good tips to share!

Here’s number 2 – We’re All Doing the Best We Can

Three Steps to Nurturing Your Compass:

Stop.  Listen.  Wait.

  1. Breathe and try one small thing
  2. Relax and forgive yourself and others – we’re all doing the best we can
  3. Journal and celebrate your gratitude

When you are feeling super-stressed it’s natural to be focused on yourself and everything that is impacting your situation.  Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by forces we think we can’t control and can only see how everything is affecting us.  We need a process to get past this and move on to a happier and more productive life.  I believe that the answer lies in forgiveness, but how do we practice forgiveness if we don’t feel like forgiving?

Try this:

Close your eyes. Relax, and don’t forget to keep breathing deeply throughout the exercise.

Think about a situation where someone is really irritating you right now. Imagine seeing that person.

Now imagine them leaving for work in the morning. Do they have kids? Pets? Did they bring their lunch?  What happened as they were getting out the door?

Now imagine them driving or commuting to work. What could have happened to them this morning?

Do they have a sick parent? A sick child? What was their upbringing like? Do they have enough money to pay their bills? What is holding them back?

I have a good friend who irks me sometimes, so when that happens, I just remember what a thoughtful father he is and a caring son to his aging mother, and it calms me down and puts things in perspective. Remember, you are not asking yourself if they are doing what you want them to do or the way you want them to do it, but if they are doing the best they can. Doing their best.

I was kicking myself for not accomplishing a goal I had set for myself and it affected a couple of my teammates.  One of my colleagues asked me, “but did you do your best?” I answered, yes. “Well then, there is no better than best,” he said.  Permission to forgive myself.

In order to move forward out of grief or stagnation, we have to take a really good look at ourselves and forgive ourselves for not being perfect.  For making bad decisions.  For hurting someone else. Only then can we stop being stuck and choose to do something else. Judgement can be kind of mean - to ourselves and others.

The jury is still out as to whether people think other people are doing the best they can.  Personally, I know I feel better and attract my own happiness and joy by believing that they are.

If you’re interested, listen to this 7-minute podcast with Brené Brown and Russell Brand about research Brown conducted to learn more about this question. I think it’s really awesome (*spoiler alert – there’s a good bit of mature language.)

Brown further says, “Compassion (see the word Compass in Compassion?) is not a virtue -- it is a commitment. It's not something we have or don't have -- it's something we choose to practice.” ~ from Braving the Wilderness, pub. August 2019

Stay tuned for more ideas on Nurturing and Listening to Your Compass!