As it turns out we are really bad at judging ourselves. According to a recent study, 93% of test subjects rated themselves above average in their driving ability. No wonder then that it’s entirely possible that our well intended actions might actually be hurting us. That’s why I wanted to share the following litmus test, which helped me take a more objective view of my choices:
Imagine a world where you know everything is going to work itself out in your best interest, at exactly the right time: would you still do the action x that is meant to get you result y? I know this might be a bit too mathematical, so let me give you a couple of personal examples.
Even though I went through a nasty divorce, I have an intention (i.e. NOT a goal, for more on this subtle difference please see my previous post) to get married again. Driven by all the commercials of happy couples I saw on TV, I made a very introvert safe choice of signing up for online dating. Of course, as an over achiever, I didn’t sign up just for one, but at some point was a member of four dating sites! Much can be written here, but for sake of your time and sanity, I’ll just make a couple of highlights relevant to the topic. At first it was a big ego boost from getting so much interest. However, as time went, on it became more and more frustrating experience full of deja Vu moments. I kept telling myself that it’s a numbers game and kept pushing on like a faithful soldier on a top secret mission (how selfless of me:). Finally, by applying the test I mentioned above I came to a conclusion that if God suddenly appeared and promised me that my relationship desires were going to be fulfilled in the future, at best time possible … I would delete all of my online dating profiles right there and then with a BIG sigh of relief! Well, that’s exactly what I did…
This is not meant to be a negative judgement of online dating. I know many happy couples who met online and I learned a lot about my own shortcomings through this experience as well. See, consciousness is not about making a logical choice, but a choice that is fully aligned with your true who. So has this choice been a panacea? Only time will tell, but what I can say with certainty is that this choice gave me a great deal of freedom and energy back. Instead of compulsively checking the latest matches 50 times a day or waiting for the next “wink” high (basically capitulating my feelings to external circumstances), I have more time to develop the most important relationship of all … Relationship with myself.
Also, I wanted to provide an example from the opposite side of the spectrum. I really enjoy crossfit. It’s done wonders for my fitness. In fact, I’m wearing smaller pant size now, in my mid-thirties, than as a teenager or even a paratrooper on active duty in my twenties. The point is that even if God gave me awesome metabolism and supernatural strength right this second, I would still do crossfit. There is nothing like pushing yourself to a limit on a WOD or slamming the weights down after a successful lift. Further, I believe that it is that very alignment of crossfit to the true me that has allowed me to really flourish and develop skills I thought I never could … I’m talking handstand walk here; I feel like a kid again!
So particularly when you encounter frustration or even fruitless efforts for that matter, apply this test and give your inner voice permission to speak freely