To be courageous: misfortune arises from missing decisions

Misfortune and dissatisfaction usually do not arise from wrong decisions, but from missing decisions. We should therefore trust – in two ways, says bestselling author Melanie Wolfers.

Am I the pilot or the pilot of my life? Or am I a passenger, so give the rudder out of hand and others give direction and pace? To ask myself this question occasionally, I think is courageous. And for important. Because nothing leaves a stale aftertaste as the impression: I remain a spectator in my own life and let it pass me in this way. And conversely, every person wants to be able to affirm contentedly what he is doing out of himself and his life.

Do I dare? And do I dare?

In order to get there, it is important to take the helm in the small and big decisions. Whether in everyday occurrences or in far-reaching decisions, inevitably one has the choice: In this concrete situation, do I have the courage to stand by myself? Do I dare? And do I dare? Or do I prefer to play it safe? Do I adapt? It takes courage to decide.

Because no matter if we enter into or end a relationship, move to a strange city, or fight passionately for a cause, in all these situations we embark on an open-ended event. We take the risk that we may be wrong or that we will be disappointed or fail. Whether the decision is proven or turns out to be a mistake can not be predicted safely. And whether our commitment leads to success or we lay down a terrific belly landing, we are not 100 percent under control.

A decision often brings improvement

Every decision remains a risk! No wonder that many prefer not to decide. They prefer to keep everything the same as to dare to do something new – even when they feel bad. For example, the woman who has long suffered from her husband’s infidelities, but does not dare to speak plain words and draw conclusions.

To endanger the usual life stirs fear. For who knows what happens then … Then better to endure in the usual misfortune than to set off and enter new territory. That does not make you happy, but it gives you peace of mind, because you know where you are. And safety is rewarded by the brain with dopamine, a happiness hormone. But the feeling of security is deceptive. For both action and non-action involve risks. Even if we leave everything the same, life goes on – but in a sense without us: we only sit in the passenger seat.

The worst way to choose is not to choose. Because the feeling of security is deceptive

The worst way to choose is not to choose. Misfortune often results less from wrong decisions than from missing decisions. Because if we do not decide, then others or others decide about us: the passage of time, circumstances or the mainstream. Honestly, it surprises me how many live their lives as if they still have one and one and one and one more …

But life can not be postponed! Either I take it here and now – or let it slip past me. Either I oversleep it – or am awake. To awaken a deep, under the skin insight into the limitations: in the finitude of their own strength and lifetime. In the limitedness of the people, the natural resources and the feasibility of things. Of course, death is a manslaughter argument. But he is still an argument. Because he will come, and then it would be good to say: I have lived my life! And not only accepted it.

Listen to your intuition!

In order to grasp life here and now, it helps to look from now on to the now from the imagined own end. Who really feels: “I only have this life”, often discovers its preciousness with a completely new clarity. The uniqueness of relationships and the significance of one’s own actions become more apparent. And this can encourage you to live more intensely and to make more decisions. But how do I know what’s right? Whether a decision is correct or not, neither the mind nor the “belly” can say alone. Rather, different forces contribute to a good decision: thinking and feeling, desires and willing, intuition and not least the body.

But it is precisely at this point that many people have no sense of their body. At the same time, he sometimes signals like a seismograph whether a decision fits or not. For example, when something gets cramped and hard, or when it feels soft and flowing. Likewise, the intuition is heard far too rarely. Because in our need for security, we are looking for clear signs of right and wrong. But what is appropriate or appropriate in a concrete situation can not be derived rationally from general rules, but can only intuitively be grasped at the moment.

As a person regrets a decision bitterly – for example, that she has embarked on a friendship with someone – and has to admit in retrospect: “Actually, I had already known intuitively that I should not get involved in this person so open and trusting I did not believe in my doubts and did not believe in my discomfort, and now I’m standing in front of a pile of shit. “

It takes courage to take time for the inner turmoil

Such experiences confirm what numerous studies show: the intuition is not as spontaneous as one thinks. Rather, she draws on a wealth of experience, quickly processes a wealth of information and plays this knowledge to you. Whenever we decide against our heart, whenever we act against our values, or whenever we fall headlong into an important decision instead of thinking things through carefully – our intuition realizes it. And sounds the alarm.

But she does not do so with a loud siren, but with a faint doubt, a hesitation, a restlessness. In the abundance of everyday life, these warnings are easily lost. But if we have the courage to take our time, we will hear the inner voice in greater clarity. Silence is the place where the heart dares to say what the mind has been trying to talk away for a long time. Of course, the mind is important – but as the French essayist Joseph Joubert once wrote:

“The mind can tell us what to refrain from, the heart can tell us what to do.”

The nice thing is: every time we listen to our sense of small matters, we trust ourselves. In the double sense of the word we dare. In this way, an overly large need for security can slowly flatten. With increasing ease, we will find clarity and certainty in ourselves. Will we take control of the helm and embark on a course towards a harmonious, meaningful life?

Melanie Wolfers , 47, is a pastor, speaker, nun and bestselling author. Her current book is: “Dare you, it’s your life, the art of being brave” (17 Euro, 224 S., bene! Verlag). More information at:

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