Following Your Compass


As a college senior, I’ve faced many decisions. Which city do I want to move to? Where do I want to work? Should I apply for graduate school? The list goes on. In the midst of making these decisions, I realized something very important: You have to follow your inner compass, and you can’t let others alter its direction.

Following your compass means making decisions based off what is right for you and/or your followers, not what others pressure you into doing. This doesn’t mean you don’t listen to outside opinions. For any decision, it is important to consider the pros and cons, and seeking outside opinions can help with this.

But even with others’ inputs, at the end of the day, you have to do what is right for you—or what is right for your follows, depending on the situation. As an independent person, I still can find myself getting caught up in others’ expectations and letting them influence my decisions. As I start to make major decisions about my career, I’ve found it’s extremely important to make the decision that’s best for me, not  what everyone else says I should do. The same goes for leadership decisions. You must be in tune with your members’ needs and follow your compass in making decisions that are best for them.

When making decisions, I’ve found it helps to answer three questions:

Who will be most impacted by this decision? If it’s you, then you should be the key decider. If it’s your followers, then their values should be the focus.

What would make me (or my followers) the happiest? Don’t make decisions just to make people happy if they aren’t the ones who will be affected by them.

Am I doing this for the right reasons? If you are only making the decision to earn someone else’s approval or because it’s the easy thing to do, reconsider.

To follow your compass, you have to have a strong understanding of whom you are and what you stand for. If you don’t know your values, you can’t stand by them, and if you don’t know whom you are, you’ll succumb to outside pressures.

The key lesson: If it doesn’t feel right to you, chances are, it isn’t the right choice. Follow your compass, and don’t look back.

Note to readers: I’ve decided to take a different direction with my blog. As I continue with national PRSSA leadership, I’d like to start writing posts about leadership, PRSSA and positivity. I’ll still include a few about public speaking from time to time.


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