Rudder Words, Revisited

Some time ago, I wrote a small article on my use of “rudder words” after reading abut them in Danielle Laporte’s book “The Firestarter Sessions”. They have continued to be a valuable tool for me over these past few years. They are a quick and easy barometer & validation check that I use throughout the day, to reflect on my actions, thoughts & beliefs.

As a quick reference, here are my current rudder words:

Healthy, connected, creative, curious, contributing, prosperous.

Rudder words are a way to help me “drive where I’m steering”. That is, if I’m aligned to my rudder words in my actions, thoughts & beliefs, then I’m confident that I will stay on track with my values & goals.

As important as these words are help me steer in the right direction, I’ve discovered another two words that I’ll add to my list to help me steer away from certain feelings. These particular feelings aren’t “bad” so to speak, however, they have come to the surface for me over these past few years during this pandemic.

I found it quite easy to adapt my behaviours in order to stay safe and do my part as a good citizen and good family member. However, I have also noticed that these two mindsets I have become accustomed to can also have a certain amount of implied “inertia” to them. As a result, they are slightly in conflict with my other rudder words. These two new words are:

Comfort, complacency

I do like to keep a pattern so the fact that these words begin with the letter “c” helps me keep them top of mind.

As I mentioned, they aren’t “bad” in of themselves, however I need to keep them in mind so that my horizons stay as wide as possible.

Comfort over these past few years has really meant taking the time for myself, doing the things I enjoy on my own time, and finding things that energize & recharge me. Comfort has also taken on a tinge of “safety” and not exploring as much as I had before. I’ve seen how comfort taken to an extreme conflicts with being curious & creative.

Complacency is a further byproduct of comfort – keeping things as they are because the change would be uncomfortable or raise some fears. Asking myself the true reason for not pursuing something is very important.

It was important for me to come to this realization – similar to understanding how & why to say “no” to certain things in my life. The fact that I’m refining this process of rudder words reinforces that this approach has truly worked for me, and that it can evolve as my experiences grow.

Thank you for the time you’ve taken to read this article. I hope it has resonated with you in some way.

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