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Insights: Low Road or High Road?
January 29, 2008
Low Road or High Road?
A lady, who recently bought our New Insights life coach training programme, crafted a beautiful message which she posted on our website, in the ‘Share your Insights’ section. Her message is my inspiration for this week’s newsletter.
In her post Yolanda describes how, as she turned 40, she reached a point where she felt the need to conduct a critical review of her life in order to help her decide ‘where to now?’ As she looked back at the decisions, chain of events and happenings that comprised her life experience – and as she considered her current position – she was left with distinctly conflicting feelings.
On the one hand she had to acknowledge that over nearly half a century she had accumulated no material possessions and had no real career to speak of, having devoted much of her adult life to her husband and children. Feelings of worthlessness welled up inside as she contemplated that she had left it too late to go and study towards a decent career. Depression and mild panic set in at the realization that she might have to go out and get a job and work for someone else, something she had once promised herself she would never do again.
On the other hand, she thought, life begins at 40! She had spent a lot of time experiencing life and experimenting – and could now claim extensive life experience, a loving husband, two handsome and well adjusted sons and having tasted life in a foreign country. Feelings of confidence, excitement and anticipation flooded her mind as she realized the extent of the solid foundation she had created for her future growth, through time spent getting to know and understand herself.
As I read Yolanda’s account, my thoughts turned back to South Africa in the 1980s and the brilliant presentation that I had been privileged to hear Clem Sunter deliver, entitled ‘The World and South Africa in the 1990s’. In it, two scenarios were offered for South Africa: the 'High Road' of negotiation leading to a political settlement and the 'Low Road' of confrontation leading to a civil war and a wasteland. Sunter presented this work to F W de Klerk and his cabinet in 1986 and was also to meet with Nelson Mandela shortly before he was released from prison.
History will judge that South Africa, thank heavens, took the High Road.
Yolanda was confronted with Low Road and High Road scenarios of her own. She could resign herself to the fact that she had messed up and would now have to face an uninspiring future grinding out a living – or she could feel appreciation and gratitude for her wonderful life experience thus far and take positive steps to build on that to create a life of real joy and happiness in the future.
Yolanda, too, opted for the emotional High Road!
Life on Earth presents all of us with supremely rich contrast. We are endowed with free will to make choices from the infinite array of various options available to us. In short – as I have been at pains to point out in previous newsletters – I believe we create our own reality.
If it is true that we are creators of our own reality, surely it makes sense that we can turn any situation in which we find ourselves into the situation we truly desire for ourselves?
We can be appreciative for the experiences and lessons that we have learnt as a result of our previous choices, whether or not we viewed these, at the time, as joyful, hurtful, exhilarating or frustrating. We can look back at the road we have travelled and feel thankful that it has brought us to this important intersection. And we can feel grateful for our inner voice – the huge ‘neon signboard’ with a big green arrow flashing ‘High Road ahead’.
Ok, let me summarise the message that I would like to invite you to take from all of this.
Firstly, try to let go of your past, other than seeing it as an amazing learning experience that has brought you to where you are today. If you feel yourself slipping into the mode of recrimination – looking back with dissatisfaction and blaming or justifying, remember – you create your own reality. You do this through the choices you make, of your own free will, along the journey.
Secondly, as you consider your current situation, don’t be tempted to compare it with those of others. You are unique. Where you are, is where you are – and for good reason.
Thirdly, realize that you have reached an exciting intersection. Now you have the free will, the power, to make the choices that will set you on your very own High Road. By all means take advice and accept assistance, but don’t surrender your power to others. Do what is right for you, without trying to manipulate or exert unwanted control over others. They too are unique, have their own free will and must make their own decisions.
Finally, commit to follow your inner voice. Take the actions that will propel you along your chosen High Road. Remember that if you choose not to make choices and take actions, or you allow yourself to be led by another, or others, you may end up following your Low Road or, perhaps, No Road as life happens around you.
Perhaps your High Road involves pursuing a career in which you help others to choose High Roads of their own? If so, there can surely be little as satisfying or s meaningful.
If this describes you, why not consider training with New Insights Africa to become a well respected life coach? If you have the passion, we have the rest that you will require to be successful.
Visit our website for more information on our highly regarded home study programme.
Till next week…
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