A couple of weeks ago I stood on top of a 10 foot frozen wave on Lake Superior. I was in an amazing place, both physically and spiritually. The next day, we had an 8-hour drive from the Upper Peninsula to Detroit. I pulled out my computer and I wrote a blog about my experience on the ice, the day before. I really didn’t think much of it at the time – I just jotted down my thoughts.
When I got to Detroit, I uploaded the blog to my wordpress site and didn’t check my email or look at any social media sites until very late the next evening. When I did, I saw that the hits on my blog had gone through the roof – over 2000! When I checked my email, I noticed there was one from a wordpress editor telling me that my blog had landed on their home page. No wonder. Judging by the dozens of comments people had written – I realized the blog has resonated with people. Not just the icy image, but my thoughts and feelings that I had shared. I had written from my instincts.
I’ve lived my life taking chances and trusting my instincts. You kind of have to trust your instincts when you take chances – that comes with the territory. If you don’t – most likely you won’t be putting yourself out there. I honed my instincts in my early years, when I was a 19 year old woman hitchhiking around the world. I had to make snap judgments about people when they pulled over and offered me a ride. Should I or shouldn’t I get in that car? I developed a sixth sense if you will – and to this day I go where my gut is telling me to go.
The funny thing is my instincts aren’t always right – not 100% anyway. Maybe only 70% or 80% of the time. So that means that 20-30% of the time – my instincts are wrong. When that happens – I fail. And when I fail – it’s really hard to trust my instincts again. But if I question myself (and I do) and I talk myself out of doing something – I know – I’ve guaranteed – that “something” has absolutely no chance of happening.
Sooner or later, I usually get another idea to pursue or an opportunity presents itself and I have to make a decision on which path to follow. And once again I need to trust my instincts. It’s scary – it’s always been scary. That’s why it’s called risk.
I’m pushing myself in a lot of new directions at this point in my life. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t get afraid – because I do. So I need to dig down deep inside myself and trust my most basic instincts and hope they serve me right.