Watch for the Sign
When travelling along a highway and this sign appears, several things should immediately cross your mind. First, you should realize you are approaching a crossroads where two well travelled roads intersect. Secondly, you should reduce your speed because unexpected vehicles may be entering or crossing your path. This sign may also mark a necessary change of direction in order for you to reach your destination. In more ways than one, many of us pass this sign daily, and don’t even notice it anymore.
Unfortunately, not every crossroads is as discernible as those marked with a sign, thus making them harder to distinguish. It is possible to come too quickly upon an unforeseen crossroads and not be prepared to handle it well. This could end with undesirable results. If one of your goals is to avoid detrimental outcomes, you simply must be aware of your surroundings. And so it is in life.
Approaching a Crossroads
Crossroads in life are not always foreseen. Nor do they always have obvious or easy solutions. When approaching such a situation, you always have to make a choice. You should keep in mind that not making a decision is in fact, making a choice. You have selected to not be involved in the shaping of your own future.
Every crossroads offers you three options, and unless you plan to come to a complete stop, you have to pick one of them.
Major crossroads come many times in our lives. Minor crossroads can come daily, sometimes even multiple times in a day. They may not seem like much, but when you think about it, they help create who you are.
Consider a workplace situation that you have likely seen before. You walk into a room where two or more people are talking about someone else. It’s the gossip game. You are approaching a minor crossroads. You’ve got three choices. You can proceed straight into the gossip-gathering and participate. You can make a right turn and avoid becoming a part of it altogether. Or, you can make a left turn and do something to disband the gossiping group by asking for the story using only the known facts. If you are dieting, you may be faced with a treat day at work. You can proceed straight into the treats, sampling everything, or you can change your course. You might turn left and make a decision to look for only fresh fruit or whole grain crackers, or you could turn right and not even enter the treat room. Many of us pass these crossroads daily and don’t even consider the possibilities.
Major crossroads appear when you feel you are ready for a career change or maybe even a change in relationships. When one opportunity ends, you can continue looking in the same direction you have been, or you can consider your options and change your course. If you are unhappy with your current situation or you no longer feel that it is where you want to be or what you want to be doing, you are at a crossroads. In order to find fulfillment and to be excited and content, you need to choose the right path.
Trust Your Intuition
When you are faced with a crossroads, you must first rely on your own intuition. If your intuition is telling you that you love what you are doing, but it’s time to move on, start looking for other opportunities where you can do the same thing. If you feel strongly that you need to stay put and work through a few obstacles, then start working. If you feel that you need a true change, then begin brainstorming which directions you might be interested in moving and what it would take to get you there.
Listen to your intuition; it will not lead you astray. You need to be careful not to “want” something so badly that you convince yourself that it’s your intuition telling you to do it. Don’t fall into the misconception that if you want something bad enough, it will become what is best for you, or what you always wanted, or the only thing that will make you happy. What you want is not always what is best for you, or what your intuition says to do. If you truly are having a hard time knowing, spend some quality time in meditation.
Talk About It
Sometimes all the thinking in the world doesn’t seem to help you progress. Sometimes you just have to get with someone and talk about it. Some people can use a graphic organizer to brainstorm and seek a solution. Others need to write down a list of all their options. Still others need to verbalize and bounce ideas off another person.
Talking with a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or a life coach allows you the support you need so you don’t feel like you have to make a decision alone. The immediate feedback and give and take of a dialogue will help you consider angles you may not have thought of on your own. After a full evaluation of your options, trust your intuition.
Find Your Niche
My friend Kathy lives in a small town that doesn’t offer much in the way of employment opportunities. Many people in the town have to drive forty-five minutes to the nearest city to find work with an income that can sustain them. She took a job working as a cook at the hospital. Although this was a source of income, she knew that that her current path as a cook was leading nowhere. As she cooked, she became interested in the aspects of the different diets she was working with for the patients. She was at a crossroads.
Three choices stood before her. She could have easily chosen to continue down the path she was currently on and simply cook for years to come. She could make a turn and look for another part-time job to supplement her income. Or she could decide to take a different turn and do something that would allow her to work into a better paying position. Kathy chose to take that interest in the diets and make it work for her. She took the initiative to set her own course.
Enrolling in dietary classes, she worked her way through them to become a Certified Dietary Manager and Certified Food Protection Professional. She moved into the Assistant Manager position at the hospital for less than a year and is now the Dietary Manager. My friend Kathy, met her crossroads with a plan. For her — more prestige + better pay = happier person.
Your crossroads might be altogether different. Perhaps you are looking for a more fulfilling career, or relationship, or creative outlet, or life direction. Remember, you’re a creature of free will and you are in control of your own path.
Be the Captain of Your Own Voyage
When you come upon a major crossroads, first you need to realize that it is indeed a place where opportunity crosses your path. You need to slow down and give it some thought. You may encounter unexpected obstacles or changes entering your path. It may also be your signal that it’s time to change the route of your path. Every crossroads offers you the choice of three directions in which to proceed.
Also be aware that you don’t have to wait for outside influences to make decisions for you. If you desire to make a change in your life, you can create your own crossroads. Pick an aspect of your life that you are not satisfied with and get started brainstorming on how you can make it better. Take control of your own destiny. Be the Captain of your life’s voyage and set your own course. You can create your own roadmap, place your crossroads where they benefit you most, and employ your intuition as your personal GPS.
Fully Embrace Your Spirit