In Rise of the Guardians, a 2012 film about a group of guardians that protect children, the Santa Claus character, named North, asks a soon-to-be guardian a question to help him determine what his purpose will be as a guardian.
“What,” asks North, “is your center?”
Each of the guardians has a center. It’s what they each put into the world, and what they protect in children. The Easter bunny’s center is hope, which is shown each spring as eggs, which symbolize new life, appear in abundance after the darkness of winter. The sandman’s is sweet dreams. And the tooth fairy’s center is memories.
North explains that his own center—the core of who he is—lies deep inside of the way the world sees him. On the surface, North is stern and intimidating. But as the layers of his outer self start to peel away, we see North as jolly. Mysterious. Caring. And at his center is the specialness he was born with: wonder. Because of North’s sense of wonder, he sees lights on trees and magic in the air. Wonder is what he puts into the world. It’s the reason he was born, and it’s what he protects in children.
Like North, we all have our exterior identities. But it is our center that gives our life meaning and that points to how we contribute to the world.
Finding Your Center
✓ To help determine your center, sit in a quiet place and list the gifts that you think you give to the world. Maybe you make connections between seemingly unrelated things. Or you’re highly empathetic. What is it about you that’s special? List as many as you can, and then go through the list and circle the five to 10 that call to you.
✓ Then, ask three or four people who know you well what they think your gifts are. Compare their lists with yours. Are any of the gifts included on all of the lists?
✓ After reviewing all of the lists again, write down the three to five gifts that you think best describe you.
What my Clients are Saying
Wendy helped me rediscover my sense of purpose
“I had been feeling trapped in my job for a number of years and couldn’t see a way out. Wendy helped me figure out what kind of job would give me a sense of purpose and helped me create a plan to get where I wanted to go. Now that I know what it’s like to get out of bed each day and look forward to work, I’m wishing I had worked with Wendy years ago.” –Kevin C.