“…Surrender to a temporary condition of cloudiness…”
I copied this excerpt when a friend shared a particularly thought-provoking quote from intuitive healer, Christine Clemmer. It made me take pause. It conjured so many times that my panic about a situation, or my dedication to a certain outcome triggered premature action and a desperate scramble to achieve something that was clearly not lining up.
So often, people describe their experience in life as being, “an uphill battle,” “a rat race,” or “on a perpetual hamster wheel.” This feeling includes stress, frustration and a lack of joy. It also connotes a lack of progress in life. Thwarted goals.
But not for lack of trying.
What is it that keeps so many of us feeling stressed, busy, and working our tails off, while simultaneously feeling like we are living a Groundhog’s Day existence- nothing changes, despite our efforts?
Like me, I suspect many people expect to get what they want by working harder. Trying more. Pushing further. We are consistently told, “Those who can will find a way; those who can’t will make excuses.” And, “No pain no gain.” And, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Yet we know that doesn’t always work.
All of those sentiments may have a place. But none of them take into account the unfortunate reality that our effort is not the only factor at play.
I believe, sincerely, that timing plays a significant role in the success of any venture.
Consequently, I believe that honoring the signs and signals about the right timing is crucial to a venture that is successfully executed with relative ease. These are the times you feel the “in the flow” or like “the stars have aligned.”
Sadly, there is no metaphysical clock in the sky that tells you, “It’s time, now! Go!”
So how do you know when the time is right?
Science has turned its attention to intuition as a viable resource for decision-making, and is referring to it as “Naturalistic Decision-Making.” Paired with “Classical Decision-Making,” the system of weighing benefits and consequences, intuition can help prompt action at the right time in order to move your goals forward.
Defined as “the capability to act or decide appropriately without deliberately and consciously balancing alternatives, and without following a certain rule or routine, and, possibly, without awareness” (Harteis and Billett, 2013, p. 146), intuition can relieve you of some of those “uphill battle” sensations.
Intuition means that it is okay to wait. Pause. See what unfolds. Percolate.
Intuition absolves you from the constant need for forward motion, because it will nudge you when it’s time to act.
In your down-time, you can focus on your other values- quality time with family, creative pursuits, service.
You can take a pause from the hustle.
Don’t be scared that your pause will lead to inaction. It won’t, or you wouldn’t be reading this. Clearly you have important goals, and clearly you’re committed to getting there.
But let it percolate. Pause. Breathe. Trust.
You will know when it’s time to act. How?
When it feels right, and not when it feels like you “should.”
It’s a little check-in you can provide yourself with at every step of every day, in fact.
Is it time to contact a sales prospect because it’s been three months and your quotas are low? Or is it time because you found some data that applies to their situation and you felt compelled to reach out to share it? Alternately, is it just not time for that, and instead time to grab coffee with a coworker and chat about gardening?
Is it time to sign your child up for Spanish lessons because his peers are getting that opportunity? Or is it time because his excitement and aptitude for language prompted you to just do it? Alternately, is it just not time for that, and instead time to play UNO on the couch?
If you lay out a plan and action steps toward a goal, you now have a loose framework within which to work. But it has to stay flexible. And you have to allow for the rest of the world to catch up with your goals.
That’s where timing is key.
That’s where intuition prompts action.
So please don’t feel discouraged when your “best laid plans” get sidelined, or when you miss a deadline you set for yourself. Don’t panic, don’t scramble, and please don’t hustle out of sheer desperation.
Percolate. Pause. Take a breath.
And when you feel that gut instinct, spring into action.