We all look for signs.
Whether you want to believe it or not, its human nature. We want to justify why something is happening. This person. This event. This timing. We want to believe that everything happens for a reason– the good and the bad. Especially the bad. We want to make sense of this crazy, mixed up world. These feelings. This moment.
We all look for signs. When we can’t find them, we create them. We seek them out. We find signs in things that have no meaning. We manipulate moments, dates, and situations to make them fit. But why?
We want support.
We want to know that “something” out there is on our side. We want to know that our decision is greater than ourselves, that it’s a force of nature. We want to believe that action is necessary because of the seemingly undeniable signs.
The 1st of the month…
A perfectly timed email…
An old friend reaching out…
These are the signs. They’re cosmic. They’re meant to be. They’re out of our control. We must take action. It’s a sign.
If you’re looking for a sign, this is it.
Today I found myself sitting in a coffee shop looking for signs to guide me in the right direction. It’s the start to my 4th week in Hanoi and I have no idea why I’m still here. My friends left 2 weeks ago, yet something inside me screamed to stay, so I did. For the first time in months, I stopped to catch my breath… alone… and it was magical. But now 2 weeks have passed and what have I done with my time? Am I wasting precious days sitting in a coffee shop when I could be out exploring?
I knew deep down that I wanted to write, but I didn’t know where to start. It had been months since my last post and I didn’t know how to begin again. What was keeping me stuck? What was stopping me from writing? What was I afraid of? Why wasn’t I taking action?
Whatever the reason (most likely fear of judgement), I randomly began counting…
I counted the days since my last post– 104 days. 104 means nothing.
I counted the days since my flight to Southeast Asia– 101 days. 101 means nothing.
I counted the days since I “touched ground” in Southeast Asia– 100 days. 100. BOOM. ITS A SIGN.
I must write. Its been 100 days since landing in Southeast Asia. This is the *perfect* time to post again. A logical amount of time has passed. There’s a purpose now. 100 has meaning. 100 makes sense. 100 is a sign.
And while I knew this theory was completely ridiculous, it got me to take action. I started writing. I started writing this post. I just started typing.
What do you want?
Signs will always support what you want, what you truly want. But the question remains, “Do you know what you want?” A seemingly simple question, yet so challenging to answer. Consider this…
You want to travel. An email advertising a flash sale pops into your inbox– prices slashed today only! A $956 flight to Bangkok is on sale for $502. It’s a sign. How do you react? Momentarily you get excited, but then, something happens. Logic. You decide $502 is still too much money to spend. You use this as a sign. Its time to save money. Your rent is increasing and you want to buy a house one day. You decide not to travel and instead you set a savings plan. While you may want to travel, your want for financial security screams louder.
You want to lose weight. Birthday cake is in the break room. This never happens. Everyone is grabbing a piece. You want one too. How often do you get to eat chocolate cake? You use this as a sign. This is a test. How do you react? You eat the cake. You decide your diet starts Monday. While you want to lose weight, your want to indulge in sweets is a bit stronger.
Signs support what you want.
While some people see the signs above, others see these…
You want to travel. An email advertising a flash sale pops into your inbox– prices slashed today only! A $956 flight to Bangkok is on sale for $502. It’s a sign. How do you react? Momentarily you get excited, could this really be happening? The savings are huge! $454 dollars to be exact. This is your sign. Your lease is up next month and if you resign, it will increase $100 per month. Your roommate is also leaving at the end of the month. This is your sign. You buy the ticket. Yay you! Its happening!
You want to lose weight. Birthday cake is in the break room. This never happens. Everyone is grabbing a piece. You want one too. How often do you get to eat chocolate cake? You use this as a sign. This is a test. How do you react? While it looks delicious, you told yourself this morning that today was the day you were going to make a change. This is a sign to test your commitment. You skip the cake. Go you!
Real Time Example
As I am writing this, I really want to take a nap. While I’m contemplating taking a break, the coffee shop cranks up the music to unbearable levels of noise. Unbearable. Concentration is actually impossible. Do I take it as a sign to pack up and leave? Nope, not today.
While I am tired, I know that I am looking for any excuse to leave. Why? If I stay, I must finish this post, post it, and share it. Isn’t that what I wanted to accomplish today? Yes BUT… posting it means taking action, being vulnerable, opening myself up to judgement, and exposing myself and my thoughts. Am I really ready for that? Is now the right time? Should I wait until I have something better to share?
What’s more important? What do I really want? If its to write and share… now’s my chance!
Be careful of your wants.
“If you’re waiting for a sign, this is it.” What do you really want? What signs are you looking for? How can you make your wants a reality? Comment below!