Begin with Joy


– Posted in: Navigation

This summer I saw several structures that shared a similar purpose. The lighthouses, the lamp, the fish weathervane and the clock tower all support navigation in some form either on land or water. And the Northwestern University clock tower assists students navigating through time. These structures were built to ensure safety.

External navigation has always been critical to human safety and survival.

No less important is our internal navigation. That is, how we move through our physical, emotional and spiritual existence.

Each of us is responsible for navigating our own individual lives. Others may provide input, but ultimately each of us is required to choose our own course of action.

It takes courage to listen to your own inner voice and forge ahead along your heart’s path. It takes courage to trust your gut.

But how many times do we see what we want to do, where we want to go, with whom we wish to spend time and … we stop… we freeze.

Then we begin to justify. We start explaining to the world why we wish to follow our heart. We start with excellent explanations and well-crafted reasons. Then the “feasibility” element enters and the dreams drift off. We have over-justified away our dreams.

And by the way, who were you trying to convince that you should live the life of your dreams?

Who were you trying to convince?

Others? Since when did you think that you needed to appoint a social jury to render verdicts on your life?

You? Do you routinely second guess your gut instincts and decisions? Maybe because you are afraid of making a mistake?

Newsflash! One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to ignore your gut, to ignore your instincts, to ignore your heart.

Trust your gut.

Don’t fight it so much.

There is a difference between seeking clarification and looking for justification.

·        Clarification is about understanding why.

·        Justification is about seeking approval.

When you find yourself over-justifying, first ask: “Am I clear as to why this dream supports my Essential Self?” If no, consider finding a life coach to help find clarity.  If yes, continue to next question.

“Who am I trying to convince and why?”

If the answer is some version of “I need other peoples’ approval” or “I am afraid that I will make a mistake” or “I just don’t deserve happiness”,  STOP!

Trust yourself. You are good enough. You do deserve to enjoy a sense of well-being. Advice from others may be helpful but when it comes to your own precious dreams, the approval of others is not necessary.

What is the core element of obtaining your dreams? Trusting yourself.

Danielle LaPorte wrote: “When you put yourself in a position to justify how you’re feeling, you’re automatically putting yourself on the defensive.”

Unless you’re the Chicago Bears, offense wins the game. Pardon the football analogy, but it’s time for you to run an offensive game.

Living in a defensive mode is not a long-term strategy for happiness.

Listen to your heart, follow your instincts. These are your navigational tools. They will lead you to personal peace.