Aug 16, 2012 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

When we get off course in our lives, and we lean too far to one side, we lose our center. We lose our ability to be solid in our decision-making. It’s a tricky predicament in which to find ourselves; once leaning slightly, now falling, fast and hard. I found it is more difficult to get up after a fall like that, than it is to avoid it altogether.

Airplanes have a vertical axis, lateral axis, and longitudinal axis. These enable the plane’s movement and pitch. These create mobility in a three dimensional world. All three of these pass through the plane’s center of gravity. At this center of gravity it is balanced perfectly. In each airplane, that center of gravity is unique based on that plane’s specific dimensions.

Similarly, we must find our own personal center. In our busy lives, when we feel pushed and pulled in so many different directions, we must have a sense of center. Every question of action, every dilemma of circumstance, every request for our attention, must be assessed from that point.

Speaking to audiences takes me away from home each week, but I recognize the incredible emotional strength that comes from being centered. My faith, my family, and my values empower me in new environments, new situations, and with new challenges. I realize that those priorities, those relationships, and that faith are my very core.

A manager was looking to hire a new driver. The first applicant stepped into his office, handed him a resume, and began touting his driving history. The manager listened, rubbing his chin, and asked one question. “How good are you?” To which the applicant responded, “Well, sir, I’m such a good driver that I can get my rig within five feet of the edge on the southbound lane of Cliffside Avenue.”

The manager stood, thanked him for his time, and invited in the next applicant. The second applicant’s response to the manager’s question was, “Man, I am such a good driver that I can get my outside tires right on the edge as I drive southbound on Cliffside Avenue!” The manager thanked him for his time, and invited in the next
applicant.

A third applicant sat respectfully facing the manager. Quietly he shared his driving history, and the manager listened, rubbed his chin, and again, asked the question, “How good are you?” To which, the third applicant responded, “Sir, I’m such a good driver that I can keep my rig dead center on the southbound lane of Cliffside Avenue. I never even get close to the edge.” The manager hired him, on the spot. As leaders we look for individuals who are consistent, and who have an intentioned sense of balance. Centeredness is a priceless quality. Recognizing what is at person’s core, especially what is at your own core, is invaluable.

There is value in being centered, in being solid, and in knowing your personal your core, find out. Wrap your life around a moral compass that gives you direction for your true north. Your heart is your center. The more centered you are, the wider you can spread your wings. Strengthen those muscles!