By: Dr. Gwen Smith
As children we were conditioned to go school where we were told what to do, when to do it, what we will learn and even suggested career paths to take based on career tests we took. We learned foundational skills: reading, writing and math, and the extent of our further studies were limited to the subjects available at our institutions of learning.
Some went on to college choosing a major based on the suggestions or demands of our parents and others based their choices on economics: making a lot of money. Still others built their careers on others’ limitations of them, from a place of complete disempowerment due to what they were told they could or could not.
Few were ever trained or counseled to really examine their own internal compass to figure out what they want for the rest of their lives, or to make life decisions and choices for themselves. The result is many unhappy workers who are misfits in their places of employment due to choices that were made from external stimuli. The irony is, in those places of employment, we have the same cycle continuing: others telling us what to do and when we can do it, further stifling our freedom to choose for ourselves.
Except when we were younger children, we haven’t had the practice of connecting internally to make choices or decisions for ourselves. And, when we are faced with choices or decisions, we become completely paralyzed and fearful, waiting for someone else to tell us what to do, even after we have some idea of what’s to be next in our lives. We vacillate, creating increased fear and further uncertainties and confusion around our future which may have been clear had we just tuned in. This is learned behavior. If you watch an infant or young child, he or she doesn’t have that issue. They are fully responsive to what their inner compass tells them to do. Somewhere in our scope of learning we lost it and as a result become paralyzed when it comes to choosing what is important to us and what we need to do with our lives.
You don’t have to be stuck where you are right now, however, and you certainly do not need to wait to be told what to do with your life by someone else. When you really stop to think about it, why would someone else have a clearer vision of what you need to be doing with your life? You are the one who has to live with yourself.
Do you think you were created with your own internal compass to determine your own natural inclinations? Do you think relying on that compass will help you make the right choices about what’s best for you?
To arrive at that answer, consider nature. Every creature has a certain way they behave, and even inside of that sameness, every creature behaves differently. They are not identical in their natures or in their roles in their worlds. They each fulfill different roles as a part of their communities. They also have natural rhythms which cue them on when to migrate, when to hibernate, when to run for fear of their lives, etc., and all are commensurate with their natural internal instincts their clockwork with the seasons and their cooperation with all of these natural elements. Everything has a time, everything has a rhythm and everything has a season!
Bees know when to hunt for flowers. Birds know when to fly south. Day turns to night and seasons change on cue. So, wouldn’t it be odd to think that we, the higher form of nature, are any different in the presence of an internal compass? Sure we have the power and superiority of reason, which is fantastic, and ironically, could it be this same power that has caused us to miss out on what makes us tick? It causes us to second guess our internal compass consequently resulting in our looking externally to find the answers.
We look outside of ourselves for validation and for what the masses are doing. We conform to the masses to create what’s normal for us, completely ignoring our uniqueness and the gifts we each can bring to the other, if we used them. You have a unique place in the grand scheme of things and no one knows what that place is but you. Yes, people can make suggestions based on observations, and in the end, at the final analysis, it is you and only you who can decide for yourself. Not some professional, not a test or indicator, nothing else but you.
Many have lost opportunities and privileges that would have permanently changed their circumstance had they learned to be in tune to their own internal God-given compass. Instead they allow someone else to define their limits and capacities without challenge.
Consider that you have an internal God-given compass that guides you in your choices and you should cue into it as a priority above reason and external stimuli. Reason and external stimuli are not mute, however, in the end all that matters is you and what you connect with as satisfying to your fulfilling on your dreams, purpose and passion in life.
Defy the norms, step inside yourself! I can attest that it is the most beautiful place from which to live one’s life!
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