SIGNS...LEARN HOW TO RECOGNIZE THEM. LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION!
Have you ever had that "gut feeling"? Your intuition does exist, pay attention to it!
Who hasn't thought sometime: “The signs were right there, And I didn't see them!” This applies to relationships, trips, jobs, and even dealing with money. Someone once said that we all learn from our mistakes, but what about if we could just observe a situation first, and then make a decision? If we could analyze and see the warning signs around certain events in our life, maybe we would be a little more careful before we commit into a situation, which might have a permanent impact on ,us for a long time.
Ancient cultures like the Greek were known for consulting the spirits before they engaged in war, for example. The oracle of Delphi was their spiritual site where they consulted the Gods for guidance through the “Pythia” or priestess, who would serve as mediums between life and dead.
Native Americans such as the Sioux and the Cherokee, among others, were known by always let the animal spirits guide them through life, helping them make every important decision.
The truth is that this modern world, so full of technology and noises, has made us lose that special connection with our inner self. Somehow, we have become a non stop roller coaster where we don't have time to analyze, or even giving a deep thought to our daily life. We are too busy to stop and see the big picture, because we live by the minute, jumping from one situation to the next, without even taking a brake.
We are being rushed 24/7 by everything and everybody! And by doing this, we are continuously skipping important details, which could prevent us to make big mistakes.
It is almost like running s STOP sign, it is right in front of us, but we didn't see it? Well maybe if we would have slowed down just a bit, we wouldn't have miss it, right?.
Years ago, I married a man against my parents consent, I was 23 and he was 24. We were madly in love with each other, and all I wanted was to be his wife, and the mother of his child. After a year of marriage, we had a little girl and by the time she was 5, our marriage was already falling apart. He didn't work, and every single job was “not worth his time” like he used to say. He also had started secretly seeing an old girlfriend, while I was working to support our family. His defense was that I didn't trusted him with our own daughter. And he was right! For some reason I never left her out of my site, and even when he was playing with her in front of me, I was watching him like a hawk.
Like a premonition, my dad had told me what was going to happen if I married this guy, but I didn't listen. He even cried in my wedding, maybe because he saw the signs that I didn't. However, through the years there was something inside of me, that wouldn't let me trust my own husband. I even let my daughter in a daycare, instead of leaving her with her dad, while I worked. 30 years went by, and one day I decided to contact an old friend, who was still living in the same town where my daughter was born. What she told me about my ex, her words just paralyzed my heart! After I left him, he married the woman he was seeing, who had two little girls about 5 and 7 years old. She had to work because he didn't, so he watched the girls for her..until one day when she came back home earlier than usual, to find him in bed with her 7 year old. He went to prison.
Not in a million years would I imagined he was a predator! But he was. I had always had that gut feeling about leaving my daughter with him, now 30 years later, I understood why.
HOW TO READ THE SIGNS
If you are watching a movie on TV, but the dishwasher is on, or the kids are playing nearby; or if you are trying to have a quiet moment sitting in your porch, but the neighbor is mowing the grass, there is a good chance that you won't understand the movie, or you won't be able to enjoy some peace and quiet. The same way, when you face a situation, which demands your full attention, but you are distracted with a million problems dancing inside of your head, there is a very good chance that, whatever details you're missing on that specific situation, will lead you to make a bad decision.
Most of us are not multitask (I know I am not when I cannot concentrate writing, and talking at the same time on the phone for example) and when we try to accomplish too much at the same time, we really don't have the time to pay attention to the warning signs in life.
Let's say that you are about to buy a home, the real estate agent has shown you the house once already, and he is trying to push the sale because “there is another offer already”, you tell yourself everything is just OK, however you follow your gut and request another visit to the listing. This time, you noticed that there are some tiles on the kitchen which look kind of out of place, and good enough, this time you are told that there is a “small” leak under the floor.
With this warning sign, you start checking for other possible boo-boos in the house, like the closet doors, which look kind of crooked. This time you learn that, whenever they built the house there was a “slight” uneven level problem with the land. You make your decision and tell the realtor "No thank you", saving yourself and your family, from acquiring a “problem house”.
Material things are easy to observe, but what about those more serious life situations, where we even need a sixth sense? Chances are that if you are confronted with a difficult situation, the stress will make you miss the underlined details, crucial to make a good decision.
Take my wedding for example, the lights went off, and someone felt on my cake. Absurd? Not really! Another hint, he sat on the couch, during the whole reception and let me serve him, while he flirted with my bridesmaid all night.
That simple detail was silently screaming, that he really didn't care much about me, and that as long as he was happy, I was “allowed” to be happy too.
BE OBJECTIVE NOT CONFORMIST
Think about it! All those things you overlook, so there won't become a problem, will hunt you later. If you have a new coworker who loves to joke around targeting you every chance he gets, don't just laugh too. When someone targets you, is because they consider you a threat, and they are trying to put you down, so they can glow in front of the boss. This is the time to watch this individual closely, because he might be trying to dig a hole under your feet, without you even knowing it! Generally, people who don't care stepping on other people's head to reach their goal, will take every single opportunity they get, to make you look like a complete incompetent fool, in front of everyone.
When you take the time to “pause” the situation in your mind, and then observe and analyze, your decision might turn into a sharpest, and usually, correct one.
Now, what about the other kind of signs? The ones we always doubt because sometimes they seem ...supernatural? Intuition? Yes! We all have it, we just don't use it because, by nature, human beings fear the unknown. However, there is such a thing as perceiving danger before something good or bad, is about to happen. A couple of years ago, my brother was driving home at night. He worked the night shift so he was really tired, and sleepy. He was about to turn around the corner from his house, when he thought twice before just running the STOP sign. After all, it was 2 o'clock in the morning, and that was a very quiet neighborhood. However, he didn't. He stopped and he hadn't taken his foot off the brakes yet to continue on the road, when out of nowhere, a semi truck went rumbling down the road in front of him, without even looking. My brother wouldn't be telling the story now, if he wouldn't have listened to that inner voice telling him to stop.
CHANGING YOUR REACTION GAP
Believe it or not, that old saying: “Never make a decision on an empty stomach” is so true! Maybe because when you are hungry, you tend to rush whatever you are doing to go eat. Once you learn to slow down when it's about to make a decision, you will have more control of your life. Take your time on each situation like if your life depends on it! Unless you are a paramedic, a firefighter, a cop or any other kind of emergency responder, you have plenty of time to make a decision, and no one should rush you on it. These 3 steps might help you from now and on, to make better decisions:
-PAUSE: Make believe that you are watching a movie. Every situation looks different, if you learn to watch it from the "outside". Just imagine that there is someone else in that situation, not you. For example: you are having an argument with your boss, and you are about to slam your badge on the desk, and just quit. Pause! Take a deep breath and deescalate the situation, to give you time to think. Tell your boss you need a few minutes, and go to the bathroom, drink some water, or simply step out the office for a minute, just to breath some fresh air. When you go back to continue the conversation, you both will be in a better disposition, and you won't make a final decision, you might regret later.
Another scenario? A man you are seeing just popped the question in front of all your friends, you never thought to marry him, but now you feel trapped, and nowhere to run. Pause! Tell him you need a minute to catch your breath, and explain to him in private, that you cannot make that kind of decision right away, that you need time. The truth is that nobody has the right to put you on the “spot” like that, and pressure you to make a decision, which will change the rest of you life forever.
When you have time to think, you are more likely to analyze the situation and observe the signs around that specific person too.
-OBSERVE: Pay attention to those details that might seem insignificant by themselves, but that put together, are screaming at you not to engage in that crucial decision. Hiring a babysitter is a good example of this. You might think that person is the greatest to take care of your 3 year old, and despite the good references, you still have a gut feeling that doesn't let you work in peace, while this person is watching your kid. “Gut feeling” is your intuition, pay attention to it! More than one case of child abuse was discovered when the parents, for some reason, came back home before that abusive babysitter expected it.
Sometimes we let our eyes guide us, a pretty face, a good attitude, or an impressive resume, are not always what should lead you to make a decision about someone. Ask questions, observe that person when she doesn't know you are watching her/him, talk to people who know this individual, nothing is enough when is about the ones you love, and you own well being.
-ANALYZE: In order to analyze before you take a big decision, there is nothing better that meditate. You don't really have to assume the Buddha position for this, but you might want to be in a quiet environment, and alone. Relax, and start thinking on that situation. Try to remember the details and if it helps you, write them down in a piece of paper, so you won't forget anyone of them. Once you have them make two columns, one should show how this will benefit you, and the other one, the reasons why you hesitate still. Doing this, you are allowing your memory to bring back all those warning signs, you skipped due to lack of time, or simply because you didn't really think they were important. According to the dictionary the word ANALYZE means: “To examine methodically by separating into parts, and studying their interrelations.” In other words, it is easier to study the facts separately, and then connect the pieces together for the whole picture.
For example: You are trying to decide what University to choose when you finish High School. It is a hard decision to make, and you seem not to be able to decide between the two Universities you picked. Although is important to determine the academic factor, you need to also take in consideration how you feel about each one of them. Take a tour through both of them, watch the signs, the students attitude and misdemeanor should be a hint for you. Do they look motivated? Do they smile a lot to you when you pass them by? Do the teachers seem happy working there? Believe or not all these details will tell you a lot of things about that Institution: If teachers are well paid, they obviously do their job better and are happier; if the students don't seem very friendly, that is something you need to watch for, there could be some hostility on them due to racism, bad tutoring, or maybe it is because they are making an overwhelming effort, working ans studying at the same time, due to the high cost of education in that University.
Same thing if you are looking for a new house. Go by the neighborhood during different times of the day, and on the weekends. Observe your “future” neighbors and determine if maybe they have too many issues, dealing with their Home Owners Association. This could be a nightmare enough to make a whole neighborhood miserable. Check if the police is called a lot from there, you don't want to be in the middle of conflicts all the time. If you want some peace and quiet, check for children playing on the streets, and on how often “block parties” take place. Now, if you have kids, then check for predators on that neighborhood, searching on your local Law Enforcement website.
POA: Pause, observe, analyze. These three steps before you make a decision, can prevent you from making big mistakes, which consequences will probably hunt you forever. Get used to follow the signs in your life. Eventually, it will just come natural to you, to see the warnings signs right away. Remember, once you make a decision in your life, the only one who will be held responsible for it, will be YOU. So don't let anyone rush you, to jump in any situation. Take your time and if possible, postpone whatever that pending decision is, for at least 24 hours. This will allow you enough time, to “think about it”. The signs are right in front of your eyes. Follow your intuition, and remember, we all have that “sixth sense”, don't fear it...use it!