Hindsight To Insight

Every now and then I get caught up in an "if only" state of mind. It usually starts out with the thought, "If I only knew then what I know now." How many times have you made that statement?

Ah, hindsight, often called an exact science. "Contrary to all the "If I coulda, woulda, shouldas," neither hindsight nor foresight are very scientific." Not exactly. Contrary to all the "If I coulda, woulda, shouldas," neither hindsight nor foresight are very scientific. Actually it's insight that serves us in our time of need and the only time we truly "know" is in the moment.

If we reflect on our thoughts while we're in the process of making a decision, we are likely to experience a flash of wisdom, a gut reaction that tells us all we need to know, in that moment, about what to do or say.

The problems arise when we override our innate wisdom with our own, predetermined advice. We look for evidence to support the reasons why we should buy that "thing" that is obviously too expensive, or do that "thing" that is obviously too much of a risk or folly. The stuff we make up would be funny if it wasn't so effective:

  • I work hard, I deserve a reward.
  • I've sacrificed long enough.
  • It's not an ideal situation but I can make it work.
  • I know it's a risk, but...
  • This time it will be different.

By the time we've finished creating the image that supports our evidence, that fleeting moment of wisdom and insight is buried somewhere just below the surface of common sense. We forge ahead, ignoring the feelings of anxiety and doubt, clues that our thinking is off, and pretty soon we're smack dab in the middle of "if only", wondering where it all went wrong.

So what is it that gets in the way and stops us from acknowledging the truth of what we know? What is it that compels us to ignore those warning signs that flash "Danger, blind spots ahead, proceed with caution?"

It's Ego; that grand illusion of personal design; that thief that robs us of our innate wisdom and leaves us with the false evidence of failure and regret.

Ego; that hungry little illusion of our own creation, fashioned by an insecure state of mind and sustained by unrealistic expectations, is the bane of clear effective thinking.

Clues You Can Use

  • When you find yourself trying to force a fit, working hard to justify the need, the cost, and the attraction; that's a clue.
  • It indicates you're operating in a compelled state of mind.
  • Nothing innate or insightful comes from a compelled state of mind.
  • You are simply feeding your Ego and your thinking is not clear.
  • As soon as you recognize the clues, your antennae of wisdom and common sense will surface once again.
  • Tune in and listen.
  • Insight will lead you to a decision you can trust.

If instead, you decide to relent to the cravings of Ego and follow another course:

"Remember to maintain faith in who you really are, at your core. . ."

  • The key is to be okay with your decision.
  • Living in an "if only" state of mind simply prolongs your agony.
  • Let go of thoughts of regret and condemnation.
  • As soon as you let go, you've restored your innately wise state of mind.
  • Now you can move on with confidence and certainty.

Paying attention to the clues that indicate the quality of your state of mind leads to less travel time on the journey from hindsight to insight. Remember to maintain faith in who you really are, at your core, and pretty soon you'll find that all of your illusions, including Ego, will reveal themselves for what they truly are; figments of an overactive imagination; thought habits that no longer serve a purpose or your needs.

©2012 Tracey E. Carruthers
Note: Tracey E. Carruthers is an executive coach and founder of CoachCarruthers...www.coachcarruthers.com...You may "reprint" copies of Clues You Can Use Articles on-line as long as they remain complete and unaltered including this note. Please send links to your reprints below.

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