One of my favourite life mottos is:“Life is a continuous learning journey”. Yes, it is a journey and when we were born we did not come with a manual or guide telling us: “This is how you do it”. So sometimes we learn by example, which starts off with our parents, then continues with us educating ourselves. And as part of this learning journey we make mistakes. We can make mistakes when calculating numbers, and we can also make mistakes in our decisions. When mistakes are related to decision-making: how do you know when you are on the right path?
Mistakes are based on a decision
In a recent interview I was asked the following question: what mistakes have you made that you have learnt the most from – in any area of life? I responded by talking about my above-mentioned motto, about “continuous learning”, then continued with how this involves the process of “trial and error”. How we learn as we go on, how mistakes will occur. This also made me think about the mistakes you may make with people, by judging who they are. You may feel an instant rapport with some people when you meet them, and you want to open up and trust them.
How about “gut” feelings?
There may have even been the like factor involved in this. Other times, there may have been a feeling of unease or a gut feeling suggesting that something may not be right here. How many of you, honestly, have gone against those instincts; resisted those warnings? I'll put my hand up to that. This might be because you want to expect the best in the person. I am an optimist at heart; always looking at the brighter picture. After all, one of my daily mantras is: today is a BRIGHT day, full of possibilities.
I recently encountered one of these situations in my life, where I was trying out something new. They do say that, like food, it is good to try out a new flavour once in a while, as you may like it. Life should be an adventure after all. So I thought “Let me do this with an open mind, see what I gain from this.” So I did, and decided to follow this path. I had an intention when starting the journey to improve an area of my life where I realised that I needed support. At the start of new things, like new love relationships, there was excitement; an energy. But with this, it can wane, so when it did, I started to get that “gut” feeling asking me “Is this right?”. I thought okay; this may be a signal that I was feeling uneasy about leaving my so-called comfort zone. So I pursued it despite these emotions coming up. Then I started to get more warning alarms, and I thought that I needed to make a decision whether I was going to continue.
Happy mind, healthy body
I decided to pause, so literally took time out. Around this time, I started to realise that my body was starting to react. It started with the headaches, and then I got flu-like symptoms. I felt that this was connected to my emotional state. Our minds and bodies are interconnected: happy mind, healthy body. My mind was not at ease. After I recovered, I thought about giving the process another go, as I did not want to quit it. So I did, and then some other things occurred which further told me that this continued path, this journey, was not right for me. So I knew I had to make a decision, not to allow other external forces to sway or go against my better judgement, my internal wisdom. Sometimes being honest with yourself may be daunting. Saying no, when something is not right, as I was finding out.
The emotional scale: “I vow not to betray myself”
The universe can be amazing: as I pen this, I came across a video of an interview that Oprah Winfrey did with the author Caroline Myss. The author talks about not betraying yourself. This was related to choices that you make in life, similar to the one I have been discussing. According to her, a good question to ask when making a decision is: “Does it enhance me or drain me?” In my mind, this was interlinked with the emotional, more than the logic mind. So asking from the heart, rather than from the head.
Which place do you make your decisions from, your heart or your head? Another key factor to add is whether you “willingly” entered into the decision.
So I'd like to suggest: “You are never on the wrong path, but just not managing it well”.
Have you ever made a decision based on your gut and then let your mind talk you out of it? What was the outcome?