Follow the Leader?

“Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Muriel Strode, writer

A client of mine told me recently that she and her daughter went to see the new movie about Katy Perry and to her surprise, found it very inspiring.  I asked her what made it inspiring and she went on to tell me how when Katy Perry was “found,” many folks in the industry were trying to make her into a duplicate of one of the other already popular stars, such as Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne.  Katy insisted on not being a “second of somebody else” but a “first” Katy Perry.  As we all know, Katy Perry is a very good Katy Perry!  She was not afraid to be unique and most importantly, not afraid to be herself.

We all find ourselves throughout our lives in situations where we have to make a very important choice and the first thing we usually do is to seek the advice and counsel of others whom we trust.  We ask everyone what they think, how they feel and what they would do, often ignoring our own internal compass.  As we are growing up, other people’s opinions very much form how we see ourselves.  It is just human nature.  One day we finally realize that the view we have of ourselves and sometimes the entire life we are living was formed completely based on what other people thought we should do and we are nowhere to be found.

Doing what we feel is right free of outside influences is not as easy as it sounds.  We often get caught up in wanting to know ahead of time if the decision is the right one.  Somehow we think if others say it is so, then it must be true, not trusting our own feelings.  I like to call this an easy out because then if what we are pursuing doesn’t work out, guess what, it wasn’t our fault.  It was their fault because they were the ones who told us to do it in the first place, right?  The hardest thing about making choices is the big “R” word…Responsibility.  Once we make a choice, we must take responsibility for that choice.

Some rules of thumb for “good” choice-making:

  1. Define what you want and manifest your world free of the will of others and their influence.  What you think DOES matter!
  2. Have confidence in yourself and a higher power (whatever you may call your higher power – God, the Universe, Krishna, etc.).  This confidence allows you to relax and just be.
  3. Do not be afraid to be your true self.  It is so much easier to just be YOU than to try to be what you think everyone else expects you to be.  When you are being your true self, your life purpose easily unfolds right before your eyes.
  4. Be mindful of where you lose your power (when you suddenly feel differently in a negative way around a person, place or thing you have “lost your power”).  Cut cords with people, places, thoughts and situations that do not make you feel good.  These things are draining your energy and affecting your choices.
  5. Focus only on the moment.  Does the choice you are making now feel good in your gut?  There is a big difference between feeling like the right thing in your gut vs. feeling like the right thing because it is easy.  Check your feelings after you make the decision and see how you feel.  You will know down deep.  Be honest with yourself.
  6. Do not focus on the result.  I know that is contrary to what all of the business-minded people may think.  The result of any situation is ultimately not up to us.  Think about all of the situations in your life that have worked out due to synchronistic events or coincidences.  Could you have really planned and mastered all of that yourself?  Focus on the choice in the moment only.  The result will be whatever it will be and trust me, there is always a reason for why things work out the way they do.  The good or bad label we place on events is merely our own interpretation of the situation.
  7. Maintain mind control.  As Liz Gilbert so brilliantly said in “Eat, Pray and Love,” we need to choose our thoughts like we choose our clothes every day.  Master that and then you are onto something!
  8. Have faith.  Faith is a verb, not a noun.  If we always knew how every situation was going to turn out we would not need faith.  The known is knowledge; the unknown is faith.

Keep moving forward and lead your own parade.  Before you know it, others may be following YOU!

“As long as one keeps searching, the answers come.”
~Joan Baez, singer, songwriter and peace activist

Being my true self in the Scottsdale Starbucks,


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