Throughout our lives we meet all kinds of people — some leave a bad taste in our mouths; some very sweet, while others can quite literally turn our lives upside down — their impact is so powerful that we sometimes make decisions and take actions that are in many ways irrational or foreign to our normal way of behaving. This has now happened to me more than once and I am getting tired of it.
So how do we avoid these kinds of things happening? Well, for one thing, we have to take the time to learn from those earlier experiences. This may take the form of journalling or blogging, as I am doing now, or it may require sharing these experiences with your close friends and family to get their feedback and/or clarification on the subtleties of those experience. Because, sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our head, that we “cannot see the forest for the trees.”
I have come to realise the importance of patience. It is too easy to jump to conclusions and assume things are as we expect them to be, even with very limited information and perspective. I guess this tendency comes from the need to feel in control of our lives, or to just feel like we have things all sorted out. Unfortunately, this is hardly ever the case. Even for a person with lots of experience, life’s unexpected lessons can be a bitch. It is always better to wait and see. In other words, to just sit on something for a while, chew it over, and allow things to play out or mature before taking any major action or drawing and concrete conclusions. Sure, there will be times, when this attitude may cause us to “miss the boat” of opportunity, but I can assure you that those sorts of divine and serendipitous moments are few and far between. History confirms that to act in haste can sometimes lead to the greatest waste of time and resources.
So how do we recognise those divine moment — the ones that really are “Opportunity” knocking at our door, from those other times when, “Opportunity” is really just a Will–o’-the-wisp nicely dressed to distract us from more important things? Certainly, with time comes the wisdom to know the difference, however, a good rule of thumb for discerning reality from illusion is to pause or reflect whenever there is any tinge of uncertainty. “Opportunity” may not give you the time you need to consult friends and family and cultivate the full faith and confidence you need to take confident action. So in these cases, just pause. Take a moment and be silent. Put your feet in the river or ocean, let your hair down, breathe deeply and pause. Carefully play the scenario out in your mind’s eye and then see how you feel about it. Live the opportunity out as much as you can in your mind first.
Secondly, ask the question, “What if?” and see how you feel about the answer. Next, ask for divine guidance and sleep on it. At all costs, do not allow lust to dictate your decision.
Now, if you’ve already done that and you feel confident that the “Opportunity” is the real deal, then act with full conviction and enjoy every moment of the consequences. And if things don’t pan out the way you imagined, then at least you can say that you tried.