It was the second Monday in January 1997 when I walked into my boss’ office to hand her my letter of resignation. I’d spent the holidays contemplating my plan for starting my own company and I knew that this one step would set in motion my leap of faith. Even though I loved the company I was working for, and my boss in particular, something in my spirit told me I was supposed to be working for myself. Still, I was afraid. When I climbed into bed that evening, the reality of my actions set in and I realized that the entrepreneurial dreams I’d envisioned since childhood were about to become reality. My excitement was tempered by fear. Yet, somehow I knew it would all work out. I have been in business for myself ever since.
I felt a sense of peace about that decision more than a decade ago because I believed my life was speaking to me about the direction I should take. My job was to “listen to my life.” I knew that I would not be satisfied until I had a business of my own. Barely in my mid-twenties, I didn’t have much experience, but I did have passion, drive and a willingness to work hard. Even more importantly, after much prayer, I simply had a feeling that my decision was the right one.
Our lives speak to us in a variety of ways and it is important to listen when your life is sending you a message. Whether in your work, relationships, health, finances or spiritual life, I have found that there are at least five ways that your life speaks to you:
1. Your life speaks to you through your intuition.
Your intuition – often referred to as a hunch, gut instinct, or sixth sense – is divine intelligence. It is a gift from God. Use it! Make a decision to begin trusting your intuition. The sooner you do, the sooner you will begin noticing a greater sense of peace about your decisions. The answers you need are available to you, but you must trust that they are there. Access your intuition through prayer and meditation. Begin noticing those little nudges in your spirit – and follow them.
2. Your life speaks to you through people.
Isn’t it amazing how others’ paths cross yours at just the right time to offer you a message you need to hear? Sometimes the message is a positive and uplifting one. At other times, it is a message that irritates or frustrates you – thus, moving you to make a needed change. People cross your path for a purpose and sometimes for only a brief period. Make sure you notice when a divine message or lesson is being offered to you through the people in your life.
3. Your life speaks to you through frustration.
Negative emotions and feelings are teachers. The problem is that most people don’t realize it. As a result, their frustration only serves to make them more frustrated. When you feel frustrated, ask yourself, “What change would I need to make in order to eliminate this frustration?” Problems such as frustration offer you an opportunity to make changes that will ultimately enrich your life.
4. Your life speaks to you through joy.
One of the most rewarding goals you can set for yourself is to experience joy on a daily basis. It was the pursuit of joy that led me onto the path of entrepreneurship. Two of the values that bring me the most joy are freedom and creativity. I wanted the freedom to create my own schedule and the joy of creating something of my own that would make a difference in the lives of others. Figure out what brings you joy and pursue it wholeheartedly.
5. Your life speaks to you through failures.
Failures, though frustrating and disappointing, offer a terrific opportunity for future success. Refuse to allow failure to discourage you to the point of giving up. Instead, ask yourself, “What’s the lesson in this failure?” Perhaps failure is meant to push you in a new direction, spark an idea, or keep you in a holding pattern until something better comes along. Failure is never about the failure. It is about the lesson learned and the wisdom gained in the process.
My challenge to you this week:
Listen to your life! Refuse to allow fear to stifle the desires of your heart.
Consider the five key areas of your life: Your relationships, work, finances, health and spiritual life. How is your life speaking to you right now? What is it saying? What step do you need to take based on what you hear?
Until next time …