Two Point Stance

Justin Foster
5 min readJul 1, 2021

The sextant is an analog navigation tool developed around 1730. The sextant is a more accurate way to calculate something the ancients did for years: navigating by star position. In simple terms, the sextant measures two points: a celestial body and the horizon. From this, a position line can be mapped and decisions made. Originally used by sailors, the sextant was eventually utilized by surveyors and later on, aviators. Interesting fact: the US Navy still teaches sailors how to use a sextant.

Despite all of the technology and comforts of modern life, we often get the sense that we’ve lost our way. This is made even more pronounced by our Western mind’s tendency to be very linear in our thinking; a dogged determination to get from point A to Point B. Which is then often met by frustration, shame, or guilt when we fail to achieve those goals and/or the line from point A to point B begins to blur or shift — or turns out to be entirely an illusion!

The metaphor of the sextant can return us to a sense of greater clarity and confidence; a re-orientation on the map of life.

A fixed point on the horizon is the first marker. This fixed point is your primary goal; your highest intention. There’s no judgment here on what that might be. It could be something material, a relationship, a lifestyle, a feeling. Just decide what’s most important to you as a future destination.

The second fixed point is a celestial body. In navigation terms, this is often the North Star. When it comes to navigating life, this North Star is your mission. It is your purpose, your calling, your legacy. It is as we say at Root + River, “the thing you are here to do that only you can do.”

Fixed Point on the Horizon

Goal-setting is a billion-dollar industry that most of us have been immersed in for many years — especially in American culture. But there’s a lifelessness to only having goals. Many achievers have pointed out that when they reached their goal, they didn’t feel much of anything other than a sense of relief. Then they went off again to determine and chase the next goal to keep the motivation going. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have goals. I am saying that elite-level thinkers and mystics typically just have one goal at a time; one fixed point on the horizon that they reach before they set their…

Justin Foster

Co-founder of Massive, a conscious business leadership coaching practice. Poet, essayist, music & coffee snob.