What your gut tells you to do

In my last blog post, concerning focusing strategies and the like, I was also talking about the sheerly uncountable number of opportunities we, as people, are faced with in life. Easier questions involve our sex lifes and sexual identity, our working area, our study field. While these will already have a huge influence on who-you-are and what-your-life-will-become, most people have a hunch about what’s good and right for them in those cases.

However, those above big-ass questions, which everyone has to face at one or another point in there lives, are not the ones, which cause us the most sleepless nights and worried faces, are they? There are times when you have to decide between the safe road and the more dangerous path, between doing what you know well and keeping your life in balance that way, and venturing out towards what’s new and might turn your life upside down but it’s the right thing and you know it – in your guts. That’s the tricky part.

I am a huge fan of reason, of facts, proofs, knowledge, expertise and of thinking things through before doing something stupid. But there is something more to this world – religion, spirituality, meditation all hover around it and it doesn’t matter what you call it, you do know what I am speaking of. That feeling in your stomach you get when something just isn’t right. The longing you feel in your guts when you hear of certain places or paths you haven’t yet chosen to follow. Many of our emotions are centered exactly there (or am I the only one who feels nauseous when she’s nervous?). And most of the time, reason will support your gut’s idea – and if not, then that’s probably because it wants to keep you safe and comfortable. But is there any reason for always being safe?

I speak of experience. Just right now I could stay in Austria, live with my long-term boyfriend in our flat, work as a teacher as this is what I am best trained at and live my life in calm and regular ways. But in my guts and in my plans I always wanted to take this year off, go to Italy again, work there for some months. I doubt that it will cost me my relationship, but it might very well cost me most of my money, time, which I could invest in money and business and confidence in my abilities. Security? Financial stability? Sure, these are all very reasonable arguments to stay home – but my gut is telling me not to.

If I have learned something, anything, until now in my (not so long yet) life, it’s that it’s those things we deeply long to do, which will make our life happy and us non-regretful in the end. It doesn’t even have to be big! Maybe you want to start another course of study. Maybe you have to change jobs. Or partner. Or country. Maybe you only have to change your haircut (but were too afraid to try the raspberry pink pixie cut until now).

It’s an old one, but it’s the truth: We only live for a certain amount of years. Living safely and how society wants it, won’t make you survive this life. Every risk your heart fully and truly says YES to is absolutely worth taking.

  • Have faith in your abilities and the courage to take action.
  • Do listen to reasonable friends and family members (to throw away a well-paying job without any idea or perspective what comes next might not be the smartest move) – but know also that they always take safety’s point of view.
  • Easy and safe does not equal happiness. You might need to take risks to find joy (and, really, what’s the alternative? 5 years more of living, but all of them miserable?)

For some people the safe area surely is right – and I am truly happy for people who find joy in their jobs, in their relationships and do not want to venture out anymore – if they are perfectly happy with it themselves. See, I want to get married as well. Have children. Be financially stable. But there’s a time and place for everything. And your and my time for staying on the safe side of the road might not yet be here.

Listen to your mind, heed your reasons, don’t act foolish – but do not ignore your gut either. In the best of all cases you still have a long and plentiful life before you-you don’t want to find yourself regretting not trying out things, doing what you always dreamed of, and might lack the possibility then!

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