Warning Bells – Listen To Your Intuition When It Pages You

Apologies to everyone for Blogger – they lost yesterday’s post in their blackout.  They may eventually find it and you can read about how my son came out talking on the day he was born.  In the meantime, for those of you who follow me every Thursday, here’s a surprise Friday post to make up for it…

When Your Intuition Tells You Something’s Not Right, Something’s Really Askew

Sometimes there is a really good reason why something you want, something that you should logically have, doesn’t come to you.  It’s because a serious danger lurks behind the decision to take that fork in the road.

Other times, you have a choice to make.  You do get the opportunities afforded to you, but you need to know how to take the “right” or “best” route.

So, how do you know?

Sometimes you only know after the fact.  You can see, in retrospect, how you were protected.  You didn’t want to get on a plane.  It crashes.  Case closed.  You can look back and there is your obvious answer.

Other times, it can take years to know why you were nudged to make one choice over another.

When my Risk Management department was disbanded in Chicago in 1994, I was so disappointed.  I had earned my MBA the previous summer and I campaigned for this job.  I loved the experience of Chicago, like a mini-New York with lovely people and clean(er) streets.  I made a ton of friends and one of my best guy friends lived just around the corner.  It was the time of my life, and it was ending just four months later.

The company found other job opportunities for each of us in other parts of the company.  My choices were to go to New York City and work as an assistant to the #2 guy there, or to go to Miami.

When I went to New York I knew for a fact that THIS was the career changing job, that I would gain enormous exposure and experience working for this fascinating and experienced man, and that it was a No Contest situation.  I was single and in my mid-twenties and nothing was keeping me anywhere.  My parents had just moved from New Jersey down to South Florida though and I did like being near them, so I interviewed at both places and was given my choice.

I went to New York City, my teenage stomping grounds, and went up for the first time in the elevator banks of the World Trade Center.  I had travelled a lot right out of college as a field auditor out of Los Angeles and so I was really not afraid of anything.  Except, it turns out, the World Trade Center.

First, you had to change elevators because the office was above the 100th Floor.  I got a bad feeling when I heard the “woosh” of the wind rushing by me in the elevator shaft.  In the office, I was glad to see I would have an assistant’s interior cubicle, because when you stood in the Executive Offices the window view from that high up was really disconcerting.   In the Ladies room, the water moved around In The Wrong Direction in the toilet bowl.  The desk drawers opened and closed on their own.

Back in Chicago, I consulted my Tarot Cards and they said to go to Florida.  It felt like the wimpy choice, I knew I was missing The Opportunity, it felt wrong.  Yet, that’s where I went.

My Dad met me at the West Palm Beach Airport on the day I moved.  I was surprised to see that my Mom wasn’t with him.  We went directly to the hospital to see my mother, who had fallen the day before and had a series of TIAs (small strokes).  It was going to be a long road for her and my Dad was going to need my support, and I knew even then, before all of the bad news hit, that I was sent to Florida to be a part of this.  Or, so I thought.

What I didn’t know was that the World Trade Center was going to disappear off the face of the earth six years later.  One of the planes smashed directly into where I would have been working and the odds are really excellent that if I had taken the New York job, I wouldn’t be here typing at you.

What prompted this post was that this morning on the news a 14 year old who lives near me was bitten by a Diamondback rattlesnake just playing in the back yard of his apartment complex.  I have often wondered if we made the right choice living in South Florida on acreage like we do.  It’s neat to see all of the wildlife but not so neat to have to constantly tell your kids to watch out for ant piles, hornet’s nests, and snakes (which are abundant in the woods and underbrush).

One other area we were looking at moving to when we bought this home turns out to be a “cancer cluster” and even though no one will admit there is a problem, children are dying left and right.  I refused to buy there because there are dirt roads and every time we went to look at a house my allergies would go crazy with all of that dirt rising up in the air.  I didn’t want to choke every day of my life coming and going from my own home.

What decisions have you made which seemed to fly in the face of logic, but felt right in your gut?  Have you been able to look back and see that there was a good reason for that decision?  What were the signs or feelings that led you to make that choice?