In my room, I have a whiteboard that has been dubbed the “Rap Quote Board.” I regularly populate it with some of my favorite quotes from Drake, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and the like to get me inspired to slay the day. One quote that I love to use and reuse for the Rap Quote Board comes from the legendary Notorious B.I.G. You may be familiar. It goes a little something like this:
Stay far from timid
Only make moves when your heart’s in it
And live the phrase “sky’s the limit”
I used to hate when people would tell me “trust your gut” when I had to make a decision. I’d be like, “Hello, if I could just trust my gut, why would I be here asking you for advice?” and then I’d go text or call the next person and ask for guidance and spend the rest of the day pissed at the “trust your gut” advice giver.
But something about the way Biggie phrases it takes this advice from infuriating to inspiring. It’s getting you to think about how you really feel about a situation deep down. Move past all the thoughts that operate on the top level of your brain and take up space. Hit “pause” on what you know your friends or family might say. Stop thinking about how it would look to post about it on Facebook. Get down deep and think about how you really, truly feel.
After trying the Biggie method of analyzing life and decisions for a while, I’ve realized that I can always tell how I feel about a situation by how I react when it’s presented to me initially. If a new client e-mails me with a possible project and I’m really excited about the whole thing, I’m responding quickly. But if I can tell there’s an issue surrounding the project that would make it harder than it has to be (client doesn’t actually know what they want, I don’t have the resources I need, etc.) then it’ll take me a little longer. I have to compose my thoughts, ask some questions, and figure out my approach instead of automatically thinking, “Yep! Let’s do it” like I would if my heart was in it from the start.
This works for social stuff too. If someone’s asking me to go to a concert and I’m “meh” about the whole thing, I have to ponder my schedule, analyze ticket prices, etc. But if I love the artist, I’m giving you a “yes” even when I realize Shania Twain is playing on a Sunday night and Monday morning Lauren will be full of some regrets. But you know what? Who even cares? It was all worth it. (P.S. She is AMAZING and if you get the chance to see her, GO!)
It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of the situation when you’re trying to figure out what you really want out of life. But I keep reminding myself to drill down deeper and analyze how I feel about the options in front of me, taking everything else out of the equation. Am I truly excited? Is my heart in it? If so, awesome. If not? Let’s hold off and wait for a better opportunity.