What’s Your Source for Direction in Life?

If you’re new to Life Compass, on Sundays I write on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics. Here’s why.

No matter who you are, where you go or what you do, there will always be someone offering you direction and giving suggestions on how to live your life and spend your money.

Parents, friends, bosses, coworkers, Hair stylists, bar tenders, marketers, and advertisers all get in on the game at one time or another.  Even bloggers (gasp!) like me. 😉

Of course, the all-important question is this:  Which voices should you listen to?

Because if you listen to the wrong ones and follow the wrong advice, you could end up seriously off track – nowhere close to achieving your goals and dreams.

Proverbs 11:14 offers some guidance on the subject:

Without good direction, people lose their way;
the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

So, what is “good direction” and where do you get it?  And what is “wise counsel” and how do you find it?

To me, the words “good direction” refer to an internal compass within each of us that is rooted in a vision of what we want to accomplish in our lives and eventually results in a plan for how we’re going to get there.  To develop good direction for our lives, we need to know:

  • Where we want to go and what we want to accomplish in life.  This is based on our dreams and goals for the future.
  • What’s our motivation?  This is informed by our values and our sense of mission and purpose.

This scripture says we “lose our way” when we don’t have clarity about our purpose in life, or when we lose our focus on achieving our goals and dreams because we let other things distract us.  I can certainly relate to that. Anyone else?

“Wise counsel” comes from external sources – from other people who give us guidance based on the direction we want to go.  For me, the search for wise counsel begins with God.  Right here in the Proverbs, we find a ton of wisdom from God on any number of topics:  from how to succeed in business to how to have a great love life to how to raise great children, and everything in between.

In addition to God, I think we get wise counsel comes from other people who:

  1. Understand (and, better yet, share) our values and know our purpose in life.
  2. Help us clarify our goals and reasons for achieving them.
  3. Typically have some knowledge or experience in the topic at hand.
  4. Are looking out for our best interests.

So if you ever find yourself confused about which voices to listen to (whether they’re inside your head or outside), first check to make sure you know who you are, where you’re going, and why.  Then look for wise counsel from people who can take the time to get to know you, get a clear picture of what you want to do and why, and then give you objective advice on the best way to get there, based on their own experience and their understanding of your particular situation.

What’s your take?  Is there anything else that you’d add?

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