It’s almost February.
Seems like it was only last week that I watched the amazing fireworks over Edinburgh Castle, but that was already four weeks ago. Where did the time go? I wrote some “simple” New Year’s resolutions with lots of over-ambitious goals, and have crossed a few things off already, but I want to talk about something more fundamental. I thought about these three things a lot while I was going through some hard times last year with projects, and life itself. It’s a reminder for myself, but I believe it could be useful for you too.
Your gut feeling is quite accurate
Ever since I was little, I knew that I was a lucky person. At least I thought I was. Not like lottery-winning lucky, but just in day-to-day life. I achieved the things I wanted. I always had a (not too obvious) can-do attitude. Even the postcards I sent to radio stations got picked. Maybe I’m just optimistic and have a bad memory, so I forget the bad things. Possible. Even if I’m a science person who studies the mysteries of the universe, I’m still sparing a small part of me to allow believing in something beyond science (serendipity!). I am an optimistic person. It can mean that I’m overly naive. Maybe. But it doesn’t change the fact that I believe in the power of positivity.
That being said, you should give your gut feeling a chance. And really believe in your choices. For as long as I remember, I’ve always believed my gut. Stubbornly, if you ask my family. I thought it was a sign from the universe when good things happened without apparent reason. If I had a good feeling in my stomach, it was a good sign. Once the decision is made, jump in 100% with your choice. If I felt something squishy like I was on a rollercoaster, bad results followed. When everything is confusing, our gut is the only one we can trust. At the end, we are the one who gives the verdict.
Scientifically speaking, we still don’t know exactly how our brain works. Average human beings use about 2% of their entire brain. Einstein is still the only known person who used more than the average – about 4%. There was a book L’ultime secret by Bernard Werber (it was titled “Brain” in a Korean version), that said our body has all the answers of the universe, and our experiences and studies are the process of retrieving the right information. That might be true: what if we already know all the answers?
Believe in your gut feeling. Listen to your body and soul. And really dive in. You’ll be surprised that your gut feeling turns out to be quite accurate.
Say “yes, and?”
Once I wrote about the important life lessons learned from Tina Fey’s Book, Bossypants. She discovered that improv comedy has all the same rules that apply to life. The first is to say “Yes”, and saying “Yes, and?” is the second. In improv comedy, when your partner says, “Hey it’s a new coffee shop!”, there won’t be any progress in the plot if you say, “Yes, I see.” You have to give solutions as well as the answer, like, “Yes, I see, and it’s kept the interior from the old taxidermist’s shop!” Now we are going somewhere.
Don’t be the one who’s always waiting for opportunity. Don’t be the one who always says “Yes”. Be the one who creates opportunity. Put a creative spin on your life.
Being independent is over-rated
With the exception of people who’ve been living in a cave up in the mountains for 30 years, you can’t live alone. Even in that case, he has to steal food from nearby houses. One way or another, we all need each other. It’s something we all easily forget. It doesn’t stand out when life brings exciting new adventures and encounters with new people. Then it seems like being the independent one is wonderful, and it brings all these wonderful adventures and new friends. We are so proud of ourselves for exploring this world alone, achieving things, meeting new people, finishing projects, getting more passport stamps, and saying phrases like, “When I was in Rome…”. It seems like home and family are yesterday’s news. They are so far away. “We are independent beings”, they think! But always remember you can’t be independent without knowing how to be dependent. You can only truly shine as an individual when there are people from whom you can be independent.
I’ve met many people who are walking the dangerous fine line between being independent and alone. I was also like that once. They claim they don’t need anyone’s help and too proud to call for it, but it doesn’t do any good. I’ve also learned the importance of people and community. We don’t need to have 20 best friends, but we need all types of relationships. Neighbors we say hi to in the morning, stray cats, colleagues (even dreadful ones), acquaintances, best friends, and family: these are the ones who make us whole.