I was working as a financial planner on Oct. 19 1987. This was the day that the media dubbed as "Black Monday," when stock markets around the world crashed. This day still goes down as the largest one day percentage decline in stock market history.
On the Friday prior to the crash I received a memo from the company that I worked under which said that they were uncomfortable with the current trends in the market. They urged caution and left it to our discretion as to whether we should tell our clients to withdraw their money. This was not as straightforward as it may seem because if every financial planner and broker advised their clients to sell they would create the very crash they hoped to avoid. I had to think carefully about the repercussions of my advice. So, I meditated on what to do. Following that meditation I followed my intuition and informed my clients about our concerns and left the choice up to them. I spent the day on the phone contacting as many people as possible. None of us expected the market to crash quite so quickly or to fall as much as it did.
Some clients acted instantly, even going in person to the investment company's offices on the Friday and putting in their redemption requests. These clients pulled out at the peak of the market and made money as their requests were lodged prior to the actual stock market crash. Afterwards I asked some of these clients why they acted so quickly and in most cases they told me that they followed their intuition.
Warren Buffet has been named the second richest man in the world and no matter how much money he gives away, he just keeps getting richer. For many years people listened to his advice because he was rich. However, in 1999 he went against the trend when he predicted the downfall of Internet stocks and some people called him a "has been." Warren kept saying, "I know it's going to change, I just don't know when."
Buffet's predictions were later proven to be correct and he attributes his success to what he calls his "inner scorecard," which is his ability to follow his inner guidance and not be swayed by other people's opinions.
If you have lived with an internal critic for a long time then it's most likely that you have stopped listening to your intuition. The two just don't co-exist very well. And that's because the inner critic is always second guessing every choice you make. So the first thing you need to do is make it okay to be less than perfect, or decide that everything is perfect exactly as it is.
The easiest way to start accessing your intuition is to quieten your mind and ask questions and I prefer to do this just before going to sleep or prior to meditating. You can ask for guidance, inspiration, an idea, whether you should trust someone or take a job. However, there is no point in asking if you are not prepared to listen to the answers that you receive. Intuition only works if you act upon it.
Problems can either be stepping stones which help you uncover your gifts or they can keep you stuck in your fears. When I first became interested in personal development, I felt that the authors of the motivational books I read led a problem free life so I always expected to reach a point in my life where I wouldn't face any more major challenges -- I was so wrong. Problems are a part of life and everyone experiences them. Often positive people don't talk about what is going on in their lives, so it's easy to assume that their lives are better than ours.
Wayne Dyer said, and I'm paraphrasing because I can't remember the exact quote, "When you have a big dharma (purpose), you get big problems." Problems are not a form of punishment -- they are opportunities to let your fears go so that you can grow to your full potential.
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