“Your feelings are a GPS system for life.”
– Oprah Winfrey
What does this mean? It means you need to trust your inner feelings, your sixth sense, your inner compass, your heart, your intuition. These feelings are there to lead you on the path you should be following.
Our career or education is often a result of our parents telling us what they think we should be doing. We follow the path other people set for us, and we end up miserable and unfulfilled.
I did that for a long time in my life. First I believed my parents when they said I would be ‘good for nothing’, so I did nothing and was therefore, as they said, good for nothing. I left school at the age of 18 and spent 15 years on welfare (on the dole), doing nothing with my life. I had odd jobs here and there, but nothing worthwhile or meaningful (in terms of career development).
But then I got tired of it all. I got tired of drifting around with no future. I knew I had to listen to my inner feelings, my inner GPS.
It was a huge and risky move, deciding to move to another country, after never even having a holiday in my life (because I couldn’t afford it). I was developing a relationship with a woman in New Zealand who would help me get over to the country and set me up in a new life.
It was a decision that turned out was easy to make – I just trusted my feelings. I let go of whatever I was holding on to, that would have kept me in the same life, and I took the step that my inner GPS was telling me was the best path for me to follow.
I set things up so that I could maintain contact with my friends via an email group. I shut down all the ties I had with Australia. I bought a one way ticket to New Zealand, and I made an official declaration on the customs forms on the plane that I was going to be living in NZ permanently.
It wasn’t an easy path at first, once I got over there, but it was absolutely fantastic for me in what I gained from it.
I broke out of the mould I’d been in for most of my life, and actually developed a career in IT, getting a real job and working for a large corporate enterprise providing IT services and support to companies around the country. I created a career for myself.
My world changed. I changed. I finally became an adult in my mid to late 30’s, living a life that I was creating, rather than a life that was being created for me by other people or institutions (eg. the government telling me what to do in exchange for receiving welfare).
I could feel the wind in my face as I stood at the helm of my sailing ship, controlling my destiny. And it felt great.
It was an awesome, incredible experience. It took place over a number of years, and had its share of challenges, but it was fantastic to create a new life for myself.
I travelled the country, I travelled overseas, I owned a BMW 5-series, I had plenty of women over a number of years. It was an amazing time in my life.
And it was all because I followed my inner GPS, deciding to do what felt best for me, even though I wasn’t sure where my decisions would take me. It was trusting in myself, in the choices that I would make, and trusting that they would lead me along the best path I could possibly follow.
It’s when we’re not being true to ourselves, and we’re making choices based on what other people think would be best for us, that we end up living a life that’s not of our choosing, and therefore not the life we should be living.
If you take a good, long and hard look at your own life, how much of it is based on what you think someone else wants you to do? Are you doing things because you want to do them, or are you doing them because someone you care about wants you to do them?
You might be happy with the choices that you’re making, based on what other people want. If you are, if you think it’s the best thing you should be doing, then by all means continue along that path.
If you’re happy and feeling great about the choices you’re making, then they’re the right choices, and you’re on the right path.
But if you’re not happy, and you’re feeling like there’s something more to your life that you’re missing out on, or you’re wondering if maybe you might be making a mistake with these choices, then you’re on the wrong path.
The way to get back onto the right path is simple.
Just like with a GPS in the car, you either do a u-turn, or you take a left or right turn to change direction in a way that will lead you back onto the right path.
In simple turns, you make decisions for your life that you know will be better for you than what you’re currently doing. Even if it’s going to be hard and maybe even emotionally painful, you can see that doing something different will be better than doing what you’re doing now.
Anything you can do that feels like it’s better than what you’ve been doing is a step towards the path you should be following.
You just need to make that choice to look after your own needs first.
Most people find they can’t take these steps for a better life because they would rather be the one hurting inside from an unfulfilled life, than to hurt someone else from their actions.
The people who care about you just want the best for you. They think that by encouraging you to follow a particular path of THEIR choosing, that you will then get the best life they can imagine for you.
But they’re not you. They’re not living your life. They don’t know what’s happening in your mind, or in your heart. They don’t know your inner feelings. They don’t know what you want to do in your life, especially if you’re not sure yourself.
Putting your faith in someone else to lead you in the right direction is like a blind woman trusting a blind man to lead her to where she wants to go, when she doesn’t even know herself and hasn’t been able to describe it to her blind guide. She’ll never get there.
And you’ll never get to where you want to go – or where you need to go – if you don’t take action today.
It’s a simple choice, but it might be very difficult to do. Look in your heart, study your inner feelings, listen to what they’re telling you.
Be prepared to change the direction of your life by doing what feels right. Stop this path you’re on where you’re doing things that feel wrong to you in your heart.
The more you travel down this path that you can feel is wrong for you, the more miserable you’ll get. The further away you’ll get from the path you’re meant to be on, and it will be that much harder to turn around in the future and get back on the right path.
Make the choice today to do what’s right. Change direction, do something different. But do something that feels great!
It might be scary, but that’s only because it’s unknown. (Our fear of the unknown disappears as soon as we explore it and it becomes known.) If it feels incredibly exciting and you would just love to do it, then you should!
Don’t worry about what other people might think. This is your life, make the most of it.
Go on, try it. And enjoy the new life that it leads you towards.
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