How often do you catch yourself saying, “Hey, that’s a good sign!” or “Well, that’s not a good sign…”? I do regularly. I don’t always realize that I’m looking for these signs, but I believe that they have meaning for me when I do see them. It’s like, when I’m working hard toward a goal and then something comes along that moves me in that direction – Yes! That’s a good sign.
Whether I see/acknowledge a good or bad sign, it impacts my next move. If I’m considering a change and I see a bad sign, I go back the other way and reevaluate my plan. Sometimes I even question my idea in the first place. Other times I stick with it and try again with something new.
Good signs are inspiring! We’re all doing our best as we move through this adventure of life. Sometimes we’re tired and discouraged. A good sign can lift spirits, provide energy and fuel motivation. They validate us and make us feel good.
The important point is that we acknowledge a good sign when we see it. I often wonder about the signs that have been right in front of me that I didn’t see. And what happens when we don’t see them? Are we just not ready for them or the next steps that await us? Are we not confident enough to go forward?
Good signs mean we are on the right track. We just have to keep our eyes open and see them when they are there. It’s part of our faith, really. No matter what our belief system, signs can tell us we’re going in the right direction. It’s all in how we perceive them.
Thinking of signs reminds me of the time I went to an in-depth writing workshop when I had been questioning if taking the time to write was the best use of my time. On the window was a glass crafted red cardinal. To many people such a decoration likely means nothing. To me, this sign said a lot. After my grandmother died, cardinals (which were her favorite bird) appeared at all the big crossroads in my life. I knew then that writing is time well-spent for me.
I’m also reminded of a story about a man who was caught in rising flood waters. He climbed onto his roof and believed that his God would save him. While he waited for his God he turned away a neighbor in a canoe, police in a boat, and a helicopter with a rescue ladder. When he died and asked his God why he had not been saved, his God answered that he sent him a canoe, a boat and a helicopter, but that he never got in.
What signs are around you? An unexpected phone call? A new friend? Reuniting with an old friend? A new project at work? Did you recently quit or lose your job? That can be a good sign too; a sign of better things ahead! Has someone or something new or different crossed your path? Some signs are little and subtle, others are big and practically scream at us. Our job is to respond to them.
What about bad signs? Even bad signs can be good signs. Consider that a plan you have for yourself may not work out well in the end. A sign that steers you away from that plan may very well be a good sign.
Signs may not be for everyone, but if you do seek signs that you’re moving in the right direction or have the right idea, make an effort to notice them around you. You’ll know if they’re good signs or bad signs. When you see (or feel) the good signs, go for it!
Notice your signs. Make your next move. Spread the joy.