John Maxwell tells the story of a guy who fell in love with a cocktail waitress. His family didn’t like the girl. So they made persistent attempts to influence him to date someone “more suitable.” He eventually caved in and broke up with the cocktail waitress. The prospect of fighting with his family for the rest of his life over a girl they refused to accept proved too tormenting of a thought. He eventually found someone his family liked and married her. Five years later, his marriage ended in a bitter divorce.
One night, while at a family party, he sat alone in a corner brooding over more than a few drinks about how unsatisfactory his life had turned out to be. Just as a song that was playing in the background had come to end, he muttered audibly to the quite room;
“I should’ve married that cocktail waitress.”
In perfect unison, everyone in his family replied “well, why didn’t you?”
Almost everyone you know will have an opinion about what you should do and almost none of them are interested in listening to you bemoan for too long about the misery you feel over making choices that don’t work out. This means that most of the people who give you their opinion are not interested in taking responsibility for the consequences that result if you act on their opinion.
The same person who tells you “don’t do this” or “do that”, will be the same person who says “I don’t remember that at all” when you blame their bad advice for any regret you feel later on.
Everyone will love to participate in your success, but regret is a lonely road with very little accompaniment.
Nothing feels worse than the regret one feels over a decision based on someone else’s advice when their gut was telling them to do the complete opposite.
Here’s the point: listen to your gut.
Will you make the right choice every time?
It doesn’t matter either way.
Life isn’t about finding formulas for a mistake free existence.
Life is about taking ownership of your choices and refusing to shift that responsibility to anyone else.
One of my teachers was fond of saying “I have regrets, but I have no doubts.”
He didn’t literally mean that his life was lived with regret. He meant that although he’s made some mistakes and failures, he has no doubts that his life turned out to be exactly what it was supposed to be.
Why? Because he fulfilled his divinely intended role of being a creator and not a mere follower. He always followed his own inner convictions whether things turned out the way he expected or not.
I advise you to do the same. If my advice goes against what your gut says, toss my words to the wind and let your own intuition take the lead.
Two cents. From me to you.