A client of mine was fussing over making what seemed from the outside to be a very simple decision. He is a very intelligent man, he's well respected, his clients pay him handsomely for his advice and yet here he was faltering over a single choice. As I reminded him of this he smiled and said he didn't want to make the wrong choice since the item he was purchasing would be with him for a long time. I assured him that he could always purchase something else if this didn't turn out to be what he wanted but that either way he had to make his own choice.
The heart of the issue wasn't what he was purchasing as much as the fact that he was able to make the purchase. As we grow and become more successful we end up having more and more choices available to us and with that freedom can sometimes come a weighted sense of responsibility. Like someone who's gone out drinking (for the 1st time) on their 21st birthday we can feel overwhelmed. Worried that we get it "right" we sample everything in site, get caught up in the rush and decide we have to have it all right now and then wake up in the morning with a horrible hangover.
The trick is to realize that as long as you are breathing - anything is possible. Most, if not all, of our decisions can be changed if needed. So, it is up to us to make the best decision for us, for where we are at the time, with the information we have before us. Since there are endless possibilities for how life will look five years from now, let alone five minutes from now, sometimes it is best to just close your eyes, go with our gut and leap before we look.
There are many people who are out of work today, in some areas the unemployment rate is at an all time high, but I believe this could be the best thing that ever happened to some of these people.
Now, I'm not saying it is enjoyable to lose one's job but sometimes when we don't choose to leave a position we are not suited for the universe chooses for us. The thing that separates people is how they react to the situation. Are they smart enough to see it as an opportunity to do what they've always wanted or have they fallen prey to fear and gone back to what they've always known.
I would encourage that person to check in with their inner compass before making their next step. It could mean the difference between finding a career that satisfies their emotional and intellectual needs or climbing back into another job that gives them no personal satisfaction. Just like trusting whether we like certain foods, or movies, or music - there is a compass within that knows what we kind of work we are meant to perform.
The good news is, until we choose to honor that internal compass, life will continue to give us new opportunities to make the right choice.
That's the question most five year olds are asked about growing up. What do you want to be? I think that question has more to do with us than them. Maybe a better question is who are you now? Maybe we ask to recapture our own sense of wonder and dreaming; recalling our own desires to be a ballerina, a firefighter, a super-hero, or a librarian.
I wonder what the answer would be if we asked who they are rather than who they want to be. Better yet, why don't we ask that question of ourselves - we may be surprised at the answer - especially if we are NOT the librarian or the firefighter but instead we are the electrician or the retail sales clerk. Careers rarely suggested to five year olds but often achieved by their adult counterparts. So, maybe you like being an electrician or maybe not. The real question is WHAT do YOU want to be now?
In talking with a client about overcoming anger I was reminded of a story I heard many years ago. I'm not sure who wrote the original story but the gist of it is this;
A couple of men were out camping in the forest, they went off into the woods and left a kettle full of food over the fire. The kettle was boiling away and a bear became curious with the noise and smell of food. When the bear reached for the kettle he was burned but instead of running away he grabbed the kettle and was burned even more. The more the bear was burned the tighter he hugged the kettle until unfortunately he expired.
I often remind myself, and my clients, that when we hold on to the thing that makes us angry we only hurt ourselves. To help move quickly through moments of anger I'll simply repeat the following statement; Bear Hugs Kettle. It's a quick way to regain my own composure and often times when shared with a friend, colleague or client can bring a knowing smile to their face. I encourage you to give it a try the next time something gets under your skin and threatens to get your hackles up. Just remember the tighter you hold on the more YOU will be burned.
It's easy to let the troubles of yesterday cloud our judgment of today's events. The would haves or could haves of your past may give you pause when you attempt something new or decide to follow your heart and return to something you once wanted. It takes a real belief in yourself, in the power of an inspired thought - some might say it even takes a bit of blind faith - to brush aside the lingering doubts and see the horizon clearly. The good news it that when we do we are able to move forward confidently and that first step of confidence may be all we need gain momentum and ultimately reach our goals. Even the smallest grain of faith can be sufficient. Perhaps that is because grains are seeds and even a small seed can become a huge tree and bare fruit for years after it has been planted. There is a real, honest power, in that kind of faith a kind of power that can sustain one through the buffeting of doubts, if we let it. The question is, will you choose to focus on the Faith or the Fear?
How do you eat an elephant? As the saying goes… one bite at a time. Often when we are facing a big issue or project it can seem overwhelming. The trick then is to break it down into little pieces and take a bite (or an action) at a time. To be victorious one must face the challenge - but even the greatest leader knows that a clear plan of attack will help to ensure victory. One step, even the smallest step, creates a universal shift. Take a deep breath, start where you are, with what you have and begin. A successful ending will come - one bite at a time!
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Divine guidance and wisdom from the eternal sage. She speaks, I listen and then I type. The views and opinions shared here are intended as inspiration and are provided without edit or intervention. By choosing to read and engage with this site you agree that you understand that the information given is not a replacement for professional guidance or treatment. Ask The Oracle a question on our contact page and watch this page for an answer.