Compass interference

What To Do When Your Compass Goes Whack!

Compass interference

When Life Gets Out Of Whack

From time to time, I’ll go to check an app on my iPhone and it will tell me that the compass needs to recalibrate because it apparently doesn’t know where it is. When it does this, you have to 1) hold the phone in your palm, 2) move it in a figure eight and 3) look pretty stupid. Sooner or later the compass catches up and then you can use the phone.

More often than I care to admit, I notice that my life, heart and mind get disoriented and need a bit of re-calibrating. I find that I want to do something: think, have a conversation, write a blog post, drive, and my internal compass doesn’t know where it is. I can’t connect with what I’m trying to do.
My wife calls it Spinning.
I call it, The Hamsters Are Loose In My Brain…Again.

Usually I hit this wall when I’m doing one or all of three things:
1) Multi-tasking (trying to do too much)
2) Worrying about what other people think (what will they think of what I do?)
3) Procrastinating (trying not to do anything)


Studies show that Multitasking is impossible. It’s not that some people can’t do it, no one can. I’m no exception. If you are thinking, “what an idiot! He can’t even multi-task, brain scans show that when you are thinking your multi-tasking you are micro chunking: Doing one thing at a time in frustratingly small increments, mostly starting things we don’t finish. While our brain isn’t good at multitasking, brains are infamous for deluding us into believing that we are. Try singing a Taylor Swift song while writing a story about a two tadpoles having an argument. See?

Be intentional. Do one thing at a time. You’ll thank me. Now, turn this interweb off. We can’t get stuff done and read blogs at the same time. Although, this Michael Hyatt post is jam smack awesome!

So…What Do You Think? About Me?

Nothing is as distracting as wondering what other people think about you. My suggestion? Stop it. We all want to be accepted. Nobody loves to be rejected, but there’s really nothing you can do about it. Unless you can effectively control someone else’s mind (like a Jedi or Vampire), people are pretty much going to think whatever they want to think. Find a third party for approval. For me, it’s Jesus, that divine grace dispensing, sin forgiving, boundary busting, leper touching, death denying King of my Cosmos. When I try to please everybody, I always try to remember that there’s a deeper, more honest eye on me saying, “Dang, son, that was fly!” [That’s how he talks in my head. Don’t judge! Go ahead, I don’t care if you do…mostly]

How do you think you’re doing? How do you gauge when you are doing well? Who’s your biggest fan? Please them.


I don’t like to talk about procrastinating. I call it, The Buzzards. Procrastination is like having buzzards circling my personal space until I finish something. One task completed, that’s a dead buzzard. I love dead buzzards! However, I’m gifted at putting more and more of those flesh eating carcazoidal flying zombies in my airspace. The word ‘procrastination’ comes from a latin word that means ‘give tomorrow what belongs to it’. Tomorrow wants more than it can handle (there’s even an app for that!). Do today what belongs to today. It kills birds.

Make a list of tasks that you have to accomplish, then mark ’em off one by one. If you are an app junkie, try Things. Just remember to check the things that you put on the list.

Usually, if I can corral at least one of these, my compass resets, and I can at least drive again.

How about you? What goes whack when your compass goes out?

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  • Sobryan

    This is a great and inspirational post. Thanks for writing in such a honest and open manner.

    The only thing that I’d add (imho) is that it’s not enough to stop careing about others think about you, I think that you have to live the life that you want to live. I think you had that in mind

    When you live the life that you are proud of you then have nothing to worry about. When you can no longer have pride in your life, you must re-examine your life and act accordingly.

  • prophetsandpopstars

    I love the way you put that. It’s the synchronicity of group learning. Live with integrity and give yourself grace along the way. . 

  • Sue Kilpatrick

    Little late in reading. Nothing like a few hamsters loose, to stir things up! This post is a fine one! All so true and accurate. Thanks CHRIS!