Your Life GPS is a concept that was birthed during a recent mastermind meeting with my colleagues in which we were having a discussion about what motivates us. Whether it’s financial goals, having a certain kind of lifestyle, or a mission that we’re oriented to, all of us have a destination we’re trying to move towards.
So, what is your Life GPS set to? Is it set to a conscious and purposeful destination in one area of your life, while subconscious in others? What is currently driving you? Are you aware of how your GPS settings are impacting the decisions you make?
These are some of the questions I’m inviting you to consider this week. Join me to discover why it’s critical for you to set your Life GPS with purpose, how it can clarify areas of your life where you might currently feel aimless or dissatisfied, and a variety of ways you can use this concept in any given area of your life.
Welcome to Unf*ck Your Brain, the only podcast that teaches you how to use psychology, feminism, and coaching, to rewire your brain and get what you want in life. And now here’s your host, Harvard Law School grad, feminist rockstar, and master coach, Kara Loewentheil.
Hello, my chickens, are you? I just got back from Scotland and the gentleman consort and I continued our tradition of absolutely ruining the weather wherever we go. Last summer we went to Italy and there was a heatwave and a taxi strike. And then in February we went to the Moroccan desert and brought a blizzard with us, which you heard about in the last episode.
In the summer we went to Scotland, which is known for having some rain but it’s barely somewhat nice generally in July, and apparently June this year was beautiful. But as soon as we showed up, it started raining and it rained for 10 days straight and it only stopped the morning we left. So you might think it would be fun if you ran into me on the street in your city but just know that if I come, bad weather is coming too. We apparently did run into someone, I was actually not there, but the gentleman concert got spotted in the National Museum of Scotland.
Anyway, we’re not here to talk about the weather. I’m just giving you a little update on my life. But we are here to talk about something much more important and that is how you are orienting your life. So I want to talk about your Life GPS. I came up with this idea recently during a mastermind meeting where we were having a conversation about what motivates us. Why do we do what we do? And for some people, it was financial goals. For some people it was lifestyle, for some people it was being able to take care of family, for some of us it was a love of coaching.
And for me and some of my other colleagues, all of that is there, of course, but it’s also a mission that we’re oriented to. We are mission driven, that is something that I have always kind of been clear on for myself and my business and my work in this world which kind of far exceeds just my business.
My mission is to liberate women from the inside out. So I won’t be satisfied until I feel like I have reached as many women as possible with this core idea that I am teaching and as many women as I can reach have had the chance to decide for themselves whether to investigate and use this idea. That’s my mission.
So I was reflecting on how that mission impacts the decisions I make. My GPS is set to that mission, in this metaphor, that’s what I’m orienting myself towards is impact and mission. So when I have a decision point or I’m brainstorming or I’m thinking about work for my resources, I’m oriented towards that GPS’s destination, mission or impact, that direction. So we’ve talked before about an emotional compass. You can also sort of use the compass metaphor a little here. What does my compass set me to? But I like GPS because in the modern day that’s a little more relevant.
So for instance, I make less revenue than I could and have higher expenses than I have to in some ways, because of my mission, because of the decisions I make. I choose not to sell certain things or not to sell certain things in certain ways. I choose to invest in my team. I have a lot of employees instead of contractors. I offer profit sharing and a lot of time off, all of those sort of benefits that add up. I make different decisions about where to put my resources.
So I went through a traditional book deal and publisher, even though that’s way more complicated and less profitable than just self-publishing because I wanted that platform. I want that legitimacy and for the book to reach people that I might not reach if I self-publish. I don’t personally have any desire to be famous, but if someone offered me a TV show I would take it in a heartbeat because of how it would allow me to advance my mission.
I work way more than I would need to. If my goal was to work as little as possible while running a profitable business and having a lot of downtime, my life would look very different. I work a lot more than that because I want to advance this mission and this goal. So my GPS is really set to mission and impact. And that can create very different outcomes than if my GPS was set to wealth or lifestyle or a family legacy or even just a mission of a different kind.
If my mission was, for instance, to become a leader in the intra-coaching conversation, to be a leading trainer of coaches, to found an institute for the development of coaching studies and create business associations and whatever else. That would be a different mission than what my mission is. And it’s not that any of these GPS destinations are better or worse, everyone gets to decide on their own but it’s really important to know what yours are.
One of my colleagues at the meeting, as we were talking about this said, “This is so interesting because I’m realizing that my GPS isn’t even set to something specifically business related even within my business.” So she was saying, “I’ve set my GPS to trying to feel good enough and belonging. The destination I’m trying to get to is the thought and feeling of belonging. And I’ve been trying to make business decisions that will get me to that destination.” I thought that was so fascinating. And most of you listening are not business owners, this is not about business at all. That was my initial example.
But all of us have a GPS that most of us have set subconsciously and that GPS is trying to get us to a certain destination. So my colleague, her unconscious GPS setting, was feeling like she belongs. And she’s been trying to drive her business to that destination, which of course doesn’t work because your thoughts create your feelings and a feeling of belonging is created by your thinking, it’s not created by your business. So you can think of your GPS as the destination that your brain is trying to get to.
Is your brain trying to get to worthiness? Is it trying to get to wealth? Is it trying to get to power? Is it trying to get approval in general or from someone specific? Where have you set your GPS? Is it set to a feeling? Is it set to a thought that you are constantly trying to get evidence enough to believe? Is it set to a circumstance that you want to create? Have you set your GPS to someone else’s thoughts or feelings, trying to control or manage someone else’s thoughts or feelings, or trying to get to the destination of making someone else think or feel a certain way?
I think that this can be different in different areas of your life as well. So it may not be a global GPS. For me, I think this mission is a lot of my life, it’s not all of it, of course, but it impacts things like who I pick as a partner. I wasn’t going to pick a partner who was going to be obviously opposed to this mission or who even wasn’t going to be supportive of the mission. And one of the things that works well about my partnership is that my partner is on board with this mission and wants to help with it.
Now, I didn’t go out and give people multiple choice questions to make sure that they were on board with my mission but it impacted how I thought about my partner choice for sure. But you might have more discrete areas, so maybe in your work life you had your GPS set kind of on purpose, you decided on purpose. Maybe you know your career ambition is to become the CEO of a global financial institution or publish a novel that sells a million copies or whatever.
Or maybe you have an unconscious GPS set for your career, which is just feel good about myself because I’m accomplished enough. So you’re just trying to make decisions based on trying to feel good about yourself, which usually doesn’t work because your thoughts haven’t changed. So you might have set your GPS in different areas of your life to different things. You might have a different goal as a professional than you do as a parent or whatever else. But you might also have conflicting GPSs where you set one on purpose like I want to become that CEO, but unconsciously that GPS is set to, I want to feel good about myself because I’ve accomplished enough.
So then if you do get to that CEO place, you still won’t feel like you’ve gotten there because the GPS set to, I need to feel good about myself hasn’t been achieved yet. So my colleague, for instance, who had set the GPS for her business to the feeling of belonging, that was creating a lot of chaos for her because she constantly felt like she was failing. And her business is actually doing very well. She’s making high six, sometimes low seven figures as a coach, which is very, very good. But it always felt like failure because it never produced the feeling of belonging.
So the GPS was constantly reading not there, not there, not there because that financial or professional success had not produced the feeling that she thought it was supposed to. So maybe you have a conscious GPS destination, maybe you have an unconscious one, maybe you have both. These are good questions to ask yourself. I think it’s really important to set your GPS on purpose in a given area of your life.
And when you’re thinking about setting your GPS, I think that it can be coextensive with a concrete goal, but I think often it’s bigger and more diffuse than that. So if I think about myself, I have a lot of specific goals in the short or medium term of my business as part of my plan to move my mission forward, like publish this book or get this many members in The Clutch or whatever else, train this many feminist coaches.
Those are specific goals that I’ve set for myself or for my team in my business but my overall GPS is set to mission and impact. That’s the direction I’m always trying to move in. Maximizing those things is how I’m orienting myself when I’m making decisions and setting goals and imagining where I’m trying to get. And that’s not a concrete goal. That is a big picture thing and I’ll never fully achieve it but that’s okay because that’s not supposed to be a concrete goal I’ll fully achieve for me. That GPS is set to a purpose, a reason for being and a way of orienting myself in my life.
So I think you can use this concept in a few different ways. First, you can just start from scratch and use this as a lens to think about some of the major areas of your life. What is your GPS set to in your professional life, in your romantic partnerships, in your friendships, when it comes to money, sex, eating and movement, parenting, your creative practice, where is your GPS set? What are you moving towards? Where are you trying to get? Where are you trying to go? What is driving you? Consciously or unconsciously, what are you trying to achieve?
Is it a feeling you’re trying to have? Is it a thought you’re trying to build enough evidence to believe? Is it a circumstance that you want? Why? Think about where have you set your GPS, what have you set it to? I think another way to use this tool is to think about an area of your life where you currently feel aimless or you’re not sure why you’re doing what you’re doing right now, or you have a lot of indecision. And to set a GPS destination for that area on purpose.
You can look at an area of your life where you do not like the outcomes you’re getting or you feel bad about those outcomes. And you can ask yourself, well, what have I set my GPS to here? For instance, let’s say you go to medical school and you become a doctor to make your parents happy. And then you do that and they’re happy and you’re not happy and you aren’t sure why.
So you can look at this area and be like, “Well, what was my GPS set to?” My GPS was set to make my parents happy or feel good about myself for making my parents happy or whatever it is. That destination was driving my decisions. Do what my parents expect of me was driving my decisions. So it makes sense that now I have achieved that goal and I still don’t feel good because doing what I wanted to do or what I thought would make me feel fulfilled or successful or happy, was not what the GPS was set to.
It was set to what’s going to make my parents happy. Of course, remember your emotions are caused by your thoughts. So any time you have set a GPS destination, consciously or unconsciously and it’s an emotion you want to have, so for instance, my colleague, who had kind of set her business GPS unconsciously to belonging. If my business gets to a certain point, then I’m going to feel like I belong with my colleagues, that’s what I want. You’re setting yourself up for a problem there.
If that’s the destination, if an emotion is the destination we’re trying to get to, then the only way to get there is thought work and practicing your thoughts, changing your thoughts. So that is one of two reasons, that if this is kind of resonating with you, I want you to come join us in The Clutch.
So one is if you want help setting your GPS, if you’re socialized as a woman, you need to learn how to deprogram your brain to access what you actually truly want and care about because we aren’t taught to think that way. We’re taught to think about what everybody else thinks and what they want and what they care about and what they think we should do or be like. So you have to deprogram that in order to set your GPS on purpose.
Or if you already know what your GPS is and you feel good about it, but you need to figure out how to keep going in that direction or how to get there. Then you should come join us too, because to get from here to there you’re going to need some new thoughts. Your current thoughts have gotten you to where you are now, and that might be amazing. You might be in an amazing place. But to get somewhere new you’re going to need new thoughts. That’s the whole game. To do something new you have to think in a different way.
And if you know listening, that your GPS is already set to an emotion that you are trying to action your way to, or you’ve set your GPS to someone else’s emotion and thoughts that you can’t control at all. Then you really need to get in here and join us so that we can iron all that out and you can learn how to change that. So The Clutch is always open now. You do not have to wait for us to launch to open, we are open now.
You can text your email address to +1347 934 8861 no code word, you’ll just get a link straightaway, text your email to +1347 934 8861 or go to unfuckyourbrain.com/clutch. Alright my friends, let’s do it, get in here. Let’s program your GPS to make sure you’re going where you want to go. That is what we do in The Clutch, come join us.