Developing an “Emotional Sense of Direction” is the surest way to be your own boss as well as be your own best friend. I coined the term when I identified this skill-set as precisely what clients needed to navigate life’s slippery slopes.

An emotional sense of direction is the confidence and know-how to develop a productive and fulfilling course in love, friendship and work.

Please note: Directing your life does not mean ignoring the input, advice, and caring of others. It means that you can think for yourself and determine your own emotional sense of direction.

Following are Eighteen Guideposts leading to this essential state of being:

1. See YourSelf as one separate from your parents and your best friends: What pleases them may not please you, and that’s fine!

2. Develop creative goals for your personal and professional life.

3. If you feel stuck and confused about your goals, get consultation, counseling, mentoring or therapy.

4. When goals are not going to work out, there is only one thing to do: let go of them and find others.

5. Be a good listener: This is an essential ability in friendship, love and work.

6. When you see something that you know is morally or ethically wrong, speak up. If doing so is not appreciated where you work, start to formulate your Exit Plan.

7. If a problem with an important person in your life develops, whenever possible speak directly to this person in order to work through the problem: If this becomes impossible time after time, ask yourself why this relationship is continuing.

8. Remember that “friends” who demean others will in time demean you also.

9. Take care of yourself with good medical, dental care (etc.), a healthy diet, rest, and sleep.

10. Pick trustworthy people to build your life with.

11. Remember if you cannot say “no,” you cannot say yes.

12. Do not compete with others. The best way to complete: Do your best in everything you undertake.

13. Remove jealousy and envy from your life: they are draining, unecessary emotions!

14. Have compassion for others, but pity no one. Pity is a condescending emotion.

15. Respect your instincts: Remember that without risk, there is no life.

16. Enjoy sunrises, sunsets — take time to see the separate blades of grass.

17. Give yourself time for relaxation and fun. Try new adventures!

18. Love and be loved.

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