Why a Compass?

Why a Compass? It's More than for Navigating Your Way

Image courtesy Wikipedia. Click image to read more about magnetic north, declination and other compass-related facts.

Image courtesy Wikipedia. Click image to read more about magnetic north, declination and other compass-related facts.

When I originally created the framework, I wanted to name it something that clearly represented the promise of the work. I believe that we each have our own magnetic norths, and that this magnetic force is constantly shifting as we navigate life. This force represents the places we want to be, things we want to have or do, and what is calling us in our deepest heart of hearts. We are each individually in control of our magnetic norths and are the only ones who can respond to that magnetic attractor.

True north is defined by the meridians leading to the geographic North Pole and never changes. Magnetic north, however, slowly shifts as the magnetic core within the earth changes. It is also relative to where you are standing on the earth. All compasses point to magnetic north, not true north. Just like a compass naturally points to magnetic north, this framework helps you find your magnetic north, which is also always changing for you.

This was the perfect analogy for what I was creating in the Compass Playbook framework.

Polarity and Freedom of Choice

But there was an added bonus. One of the main principles inside the framework is about polarity and choice. For example, if you want a new job but are focused on the fact that you have no job or a job that sucks, you are focused on the opposite - polar opposite - of what is truly calling you: your magnetic north job. That perfect job filled with all of the possibility that you've cultivated in your creative mind bank to date. But as long as you're focused on the opposite, you are keeping yourself away from what your magnetic north is calling you toward.

How can you tell? Because all of the points on the compass rose that would normally correlate to NNE, NE, E, etc. degrade in degree of emotional response. The worse or more negative the emotional response, the further you are navigating away from your magnetic north. So, if you are thinking you're focused on what you want, i.e. your magnetic north, but you feel dissatisfied or bored or worried, you're likely really pointed toward east or southeast or worse yet - south!

Once you identify by emotional response that you are not facing your magnetic north you can quickly use the tools in the Compass framework to shift your focus and recover your magnetic north reading so you can get back on track. It's a simple yet powerful way to navigate and retrain your mind to focus on the outcomes you most deeply want.

The ability to use an analogy that not only correlated to what we are called toward as well as one that had the nuances of the framework around emotional responses to what we think was a very exciting discovery when I created the work. So now you know how Compass was created.

The Playbook

The original Compass Playbook was written in 2011, and it was designed to be a workbook that people could write, draw, doodle and let their creative muse out to play. I wanted it to be fun, a way to not only imagine and problem solve but to also set a new path toward what they wanted most in life. And that's why the book and subsequent write shops and online courses all use the Compass Playbook name: you create the plays to navigate toward your magnetic north. Perfect!


Terry Pappy is CEO of Better3, creator of Compass Playbook and author of award-winning books on creativity. What she says about Compass: "It's a fun resource that helps people achieve their dreams using creativity—simply by telling a new story." Terry uses humor and straight-talk to inspire breakthroughs in creativity for audiences around the globe.