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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Compass

The Compass is a life transformation book that guides the reader through a journey of self-discovery. At the core of The Compass are specific life lessons about belief systems, authenticity, and understanding who you really are in order to live your destiny, and to understand your role and connectedness to the world.

1. One of the core lessons of The Compass is that there are people and circumstances you’ll encounter during your time on earth that will lead you towards your destiny. And sometimes people are placed in your life for a reason - to teach you something. Understanding it all and being able to see the unseen, is a critical part of achieving your life’s calling. Have you met someone who you felt was placed in your life for a reason?

2. How did that person impact you and your life’s journey?

3. In The Compass Jonathan's foray into the wild is a metaphor for the adventure of life we all embark on with its intermittent peaks and valleys. He’s experienced a tragedy, and along the way he meets people who help pull him out of his darkness, and change his perspective. When he meets Pete, the old man at the cabin, he is able to see how Pete has survived being abandoned by his parents, to live a happy and productive life. One of the life lessons Pete teaches us subtly, is that true strength comes from brokenness. What else did you learn from Pete?

4. In Holland, Jonathan’s journey takes him to a bike shop where he meets Toin, a young athlete who ends up in a wheelchair. How can the strength that Toin shows in overcoming adversity help someone you know overcome a challenge in their own life?

5. The Earth is a huge magnet with two poles - one on top, and one on the bottom. The magnetic North pole is in northern Canada and one end of every compass needle is drawn towards it. Sometimes in life we feel our own internal compass moving in the same way. Like Jonathan’s journey into the desert, in his quest to find answers, at times it feels like you simply must go and travel in a certain direction. It’s as if a mysterious magnetic pull has drawn you towards a specific event, career path, or person. Have you had a life defining compass moment?

6. In Romania, we meet a young boy named Solomon, who is an old soul, in the body of a young boy. He has a lot of wisdom, even though he’s an orphan. Why do you think the author chose this theme of broken homes, and tragedy, in the background of the characters?

7. At any point in his journey Jonathan could have chosen to continue running, and escape the mess he left behind. He could have started a new job, or a new relationship, in a new country. Why do you think his compass brought him home again, even though the journey to repair and mend life would be in some ways more difficult than the escape?

8. Ultimately, the book is about growth, and restoration. It’s about action, and not attraction. What happens when you stop waiting and wishing, and start taking action steps towards a healthy life, and the life of your dreams?

The Compass
by Tammy Kling and John Spencer Ellis

  • Publication Date: June 2, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press
  • ISBN-10: 1593155425
  • ISBN-13: 9781593155421