Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Uncertainty’

After our recent election, I was drawn to one of my favorite places to hike – Jockey Hollow. Jockey Hollow was the encampment site for our Revolutionary Army for two brutal winters, and the hills and forests of this place are alive with the spirit that gave birth to our country.

 

jockeyhollow4On this particular sunny, fall day I decided to hike a trail I have not hiked before. While hiking, I came to a sign on the trail that indicated the trail turned right, but I saw no trail that way. What I did see, however, was a big hill in front of me, and I LOVE being on the top of hills and mountains. So I abandoned the marked trail and started bushwhacking my way up the hill.

 

The symbolism of this decision was not lost on me since we as a nation are now blazing a new trail and are venturing into uncharted territory.

 

Once on top of the hill, I explored a bit, I enjoyed the view, and I appreciated the accomplishment. From the top of that hill, though, I saw an even bigger hill, and for whatever reason it is in my blood that if there is a higher peak to climb, I MUST climb it. So off I went.

 

Here’s the thing about striving to get to a higher peak. In order to get from one peak to the next we must travel through a valley. As such, we must never fear the low points, for they are simply part of the journey to something greater.

 

When I got to the floor of the valley, I found a beautiful stream trickling over rocks, filling the air with a gurgling meditative rhythm. I sat on a rock, closed my eyes, and just listened, breathed and enjoyed the darkness of the valley shadowed by the rising hill next to me. As I listened, I pondered the fact that I did not hear or see any animals all day, which was odd. Not even a squirrel or bird.

 

After drinking in the moment, I began my ascent up the next hill. The sun was setting, and I hoped that from the next peak I would see a landmark I recognized or perhaps see a trail. I have to admit I was a bit lost and anxious as I did not have any bearing in the forest. When I reached the peak, unfortunately all I saw was more unfamiliar woods. No path. No landmark. No voices. No sound of cars.

 

Doubt crept into the back of my mind and I felt that nervous pit in my stomach that accompanies uncertainty. Now, granted I was hiking in New Jersey, so I knew that if I hiked long enough I would eventually cross a road, but with the sun going down, I also knew I needed to be smart.

 

This is why I love hiking in the woods and venturing down new paths. It tests and challenges my limits. In this moment I could either panic . . . or I could listen and trust.

 

My experience taught me to listen and trust. So I did.

 

After not seeing any animals all day, suddenly a wild turkey appeared. I couldn’t help but think that the turkey was Benjamin Franklin’s favorite bird and that he favored making it the national bird over the bald eagle, at least according to the myth.

 

I followed the turkey over the crest of the hill and as it ran off into the forest I saw a pink ribbon tied to a tree. And then another. And another after that. I followed the trail of ribbons and eventually came to a marked trail, which eventually led me to a road, which eventually led me home.

 

We must not fear new paths. It is in the unknown that we come to know ourselves best. But in order to find our way out of the darkness and uncertainty, we must listen and trust.

 

Hope is like a path in the countryside:
originally there was no path
– yet
as people are walking all the time,
in the same spot,
a path appears.

 

– Lu Xun

 

We all must travel unknown paths at some point in our lives. Whether they are found in a relationship, a career, financial matters, health, or any other domain. At some point we must step onto a new path.

 

We can either take that first step in fear and dread the journey, or we can take it with hope, trusting that it will lead us to new learning, growth, insights and maybe even an amazing adventure. Regardless of where the path may eventually lead, choosing hope and trust, rather than fear, will ensure the journey is more enjoyable.

 

READ HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS here.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’ve been watching a television show called FlashForward.  The basic concept is that the whole world blacks out for 2 minutes.  During that time, people see their lives 6 months into the future.  As time goes on, people begin to see that pieces of their “flashforwards” are coming true, and as a result, they start living their lives differently.  They start to live with the expectation that the life they saw will be, or is, reality.  You can imagine what a dramatic shift that might create in one’s life and the way they live it.

 

Then I got to thinking.  What if our intuition is like a mini flashforward?  What if we really did have an ability to see or sense our future and it manifested itself as our intuition?  If you are like me, I am sure you have had several experiences when your intuition guided you in a certain direction, as if it knew the future.  Depending on your trust, you either followed it or you did not.

 

One of the best examples of this for me was when I bought my last car.  All throughout the process, I had a strong feeling that something was wrong and that I should not buy that car.  I couldn’t figure out why, nor did I trust the feeling, so I bought the car.  The car was a Saturn, and today, the company is out of business.

 

What if our intuition is a future we cannot see that is whispering to us?  How would our lives be different if we trusted it?  What pains would we avoid?  What opportunities would we realize?   The proof I have gathered in my life points in the direction that our intuition is indeed some form of a time machine for all of us.  The trick is paying attention to it and trusting it. 

 

Perhaps you have a similar story about your intuition guiding you.  If so, leave your story in the comments section.  Let’s see what our collective intuition knows and proves out.

 

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
                                                           – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
                                   

The Universe whispers to us every day, directing us on our path.  Sadly, we repeatedly don’t listen or accept its guidance.  Too often we let fear, uncertainty, doubt and lack of trust rule our lives, and when we do, we kill off the countless possibilities and future that exists just beyond them.  How would your life be different if you lived without those negative influences?  I would venture to say that life would be lived with a more ease and peace

 

If you are interested in seeing the first episode of FlashForward here is the link:  http://www.hulu.com/watch/97929/flashforward-no-more-good-days

 

Read Full Post »

Not surprisingly, this time of year brings a lot of emails and newsletters that talk about spring and new beginnings.  Perhaps that is why I feel compelled to talk about the death of spring.
 
I am not referring to the season itself, but rather the internal spring we each hold inside  . . . hope.  In the book, If God Twittered, I wrote the short but poignant thought: “A soul filled with hope enjoys an eternal spring.”  When someone is filled with hope, everything about their body and body chemistry changes.    They smile more.  They have more energy.  Colors seem more vivid.  They are happier and possess a sense of optimism.  They are focused on the future and the possibility that future holds for them. 
 
There is no doubt that hope is a powerful instrument that inspires people to believe in their dreams and take action.
 
But there are many forces in the world that steal that hope and kill the sense of spring.  It could be a negative comment someone makes.  Or a parent or friend that judges you.  It could be a general sense of fear.  Or the constant barrage of bad news.  It could be your own doubt and uncertainty. Or a lack of trust.  Whatever it is, the forces that can kill one’s hope or dream far outnumber those that give it wings.  And the death of hope in one’s heart is one of the saddest moments someone can experience.  Their soul withers, their passion disappears, and they begin to float aimlessly through life.
 
That is why with the arrival of Spring this year I ask you to do three small things to become an agent of hope.

  1. Reignite a belief and hope in one of your dreams.
  2. Take one small action to breathe life into it and move it forward.
  3. Fan the flame of hope for another person’s dream by saying some encouraging words or doing one thing to help their dream become real.

You will be amazed how these small acts ignite their heart and yours!

  

Hope is like a path in the countryside:
originally there was no path

– yet

as people are walking all the time,
in the same spot,
a path appears. 

                   – Lu Xun 
                                   

Never, ever, ever give up on hope or yourself.  Over the past 10 years that I have been coaching, I have seen countless examples of the power of the human spirit powered by a dream.  It is hope that gives rise to perseverance, and perseverance that gives rise to success.  Keep walking the path and trust in the direction hope leads you.

 

What one step will you take today to ignite your dream or the dream of another?

Read Full Post »