My favorite quote in 50 is the Perfect Time to Start Something New: 7 Tips for a Mid-Life Career Change (my latest video) is from Hugh Prather’s There is a Place Where You Are Not Alone:
“There is simply no way of knowing what course of action would truly be in your best interests,” he writes on page 29. “And yet who has not felt a gentle urging to take some action that you did think was reasonable but later events showed exactly what was needed at the time?”
I’m learning to respect, follow and even love that gentle urging. It’s what prompted me to buy Ruby, my camper van. It’s how I ended up here at the foot of Superstition Mountain at Lost Dutchman National Park in Arizona. It’s what compels me to make videos and email you every week, and it’s why you’re reading these words right now.
After all, you wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t for the gentle urging that prompted you to sign up for my updates and open my emails. And that, my friend, is just a small example of how gentle urgings shape—and are shaping!—your life.
Gentle urgings have the power to change everything.
The problem with gentle urgings is that they require leaps of faith, sacrifices, and even pain. They ask you to move into situations without knowing how things will turn out or where you’ll end up. They uproot your life. They disrupt other people’s lives.
And, as Hugh Prather says, you can’t know for certain if any choice is truly in your best interests. What seems disruptive, selfish or even completely insane could be the best thing for you and others.
What gentle urging keeps coming back to you? For me, it’s horses and counseling, and I’m tired of ignoring it. I applied to volunteer at a horse therapy camp for kids with disabilities this spring. I’m also volunteering at a Quarter Horse Show this weekend, and an Arabian Horse Show next month. Giddy up!
Taking small steps forward is the only way to quench those gentle urgings. Choosing an action—even when you don’t know if it’s in your or anyone’s best interests—is the only way to live with no regrets.
Be still. Listen. If you’re patient and quiet, you’ll hear the whisper of a gentle urging in your heart and soul. You’ll know what course of action to take, and you’ll eagerly accept the sacrifices it brings.
And you’ll have no regrets.