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Following Your Internal Compass and Making Your Own Decisions

Holding Heart

“Believe nothing no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense.” ~Buddha

Dad, who at the time was a fighter pilot in the United States Marine Corps, taught me how to navigate using a compass. The family was on a vacation in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I was nine.

He got me up that morning before dawn. Mom made us a huge breakfast. I was so excited because I knew that day, I would climb my first mountain.

No, it wasn’t Mount Everest or even a huge mountain in Colorado, but for a kid who had spent most of his life in the flat lands of the eastern seaboard, the small mountain within eye-shot of the cabin was a monument of great proportions. I was pumped (even though that phrase didn’t exist in the sixties).

Once outside the cabin and on our way, Dad stopped for a moment. He looked down at me from above and handed me his engineering compass, which he had used during his Survival School Training. It was like being handed a bar of gold because before that day I was not allowed to touch it.

“Son, we are going to climb to the top of that mountain and you are going to get us there using this compass,” spoke Dad with a seriousness not to be ignored.

“But Dad…I don’t know how,” whined I to a smiling father.

Other than the fact that we made the climb safely, including an encounter with a black bear, I remember few things about that day, and I wish Dad was still alive so that I could refresh my cloudy mind. What I do know is this: I never feel lost, even to this day.

Sure, from time to time in life I feel confused about where I am or where I am going, but I never feel like I will not get where I am supposed to go. 

With a compass—any compass—one can always pause for a moment in time and figure out where you are so that you can continue. All of us must change course from time to time because what is surrounding us is constantly changing.

To not flow with change will only invite disaster. Sure, you may not notice a difference at first, but if you fight that which does not wish to be fought, you will suffer in the end.

“What the heck are you talking about, dude?” you ask.

Beyond the obvious, what Dad was teaching me at the time did not take on meaning for many years. On the surface, knowing how to navigate with a compass at sea or on land will only come in handy if you are in a situation where most people would declare, “I am lost and my GPS is out of battery power.”

Beneath the obvious is an enormous lesson about independence and the ability to travel along one’s own path of life—a path which will never be a straight line, a path with many bends, hills, valleys, oceans of fog, storms, and dark forests. 

The cool thing is this: you have a compass within your being. All of us do. Call it whatever you wish; this is your choice as a human. I have chosen and I call it my inner voice.

“Again, Frucci…huh?  Please bring this home.” 

Become immune to other people’s judgment. Their thoughts of you do not matter—this is truth. In fact, some will say that everyone is afraid of you, which is why they will lash out with negativity first.

Your internal compass is truth. The physical compass my father handed me that day when I was nine was truth.

The directions of a compass cannot be denied, and when you have faith that what direction you take based on what you see on the compass face is the correct one, you will arrive at the destination you are working toward. Even if you have to change course from time to time in order to go around an obstruction. 

Your internal compass is the same, but you must listen to that voice and you must have faith in what you already have—an internal guidance system.

“How do you know this to be true?”

I cannot prove it anymore than anyone can prove the existence of anything unseen beyond a shadow of doubt. Only the individual can do that. I only know what I know, and what I know is this…

When I was in high school, my guidance counselor advised me to not apply to a certain university because I was a “C” student, and the only ones who were allowed to go there were much smarter than me.

He said with the smile of one who professes supreme knowledge, “Don’t waste your time and your money applying there because you will not get accepted.”

I heard his words, thought about them, and decided that I was not going to allow another person to dictate my future. My parents drove me to the campus of Carnegie Mellon University for a portfolio showing/interview with the Head of the Department of Architecture.

I took an exam and a few months later they accepted me, and not the straight “A” valedictorian of my high school class.

After graduating with honors in 1984 I went on to get my architecture license, working as an architect for over twenty years. The guidance counselor was flat out wrong. 

How many people listen to the words of others who profess supreme knowledge? How many fellow humans allow their hopes and dreams to be squelched by people who do not know what is inside of them?

My internal compass was screaming at me from within—and I listened.

Choice. Yours is speaking to you now as you read these words. Sure, there have been times when I caved and listened to others—many times. And I can think of the disasters that followed from not listening to my voice. 

Quiet your mind now for a moment and listen. What do you hear?

Remaining in the present moment, which flows with time, knowing the moment is not static, this is how one is able to hear clearly the voice within. What is your greatest challenge? Do something about it beginning now.

Of course we all can take the advice and counsel of others. I will always listen to the words of ones whom I respect. But the final say, the composite of all the words spoken, will be finally judged by that which is inside of me and on the terms of my personal compass.

Only you know you completely. No other human will ever come close. So why would you ever let another human decide anything for you?

It was my personal compass that guided me—the same compass that I still reference in the present moment of time, which flows, the same compass that will always guide me home.

Photo by Lisa L Wiedmeier

Profile photo of Greg Frucci

About Greg Frucci

Greg's resume is ridiculous...in a good way. He calls himself an artist. Architecture, painting, drawing, acting, and writing are his passions. Despite discouragement from others, he took off on a solo sailing adventure in the Atlantic Ocean and wrote a book about it, Path of Three Hundred. Learn more at gregfrucci.com.

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  • Jasmine

    Excellent article and so well articulated. Thanks for sharing it. I needed this reinforcement so badly today 🙂

  • Barbz

    Thank you Greg!
    This is enlightening! I always get brain washed by other people’s say and in fact the only “say” that matters is my own. I am aware of this already and is doing something to reflect back whenever I get dragged by the opinion of others. I would say I’m on track but still working on it.
    Salamat!

  • Caroline Porter

    This is fantastic. I find myself getting bogged down lately by reading too many “5 steps to blah blah blah” type articles to try to learn who I really am and what I want in life, and am now coming to the realization that it just does not work that way! Instead of internalizing the experiences of others or trying to find myself in their lives, I want to work on going with the flow of the present to become the best, brightest, fullest version of myself that I can. I am starting to feel more joyous now just thinking about existing, completely in the present moment.
    Thank you for sharing this metaphor. I think whatever we call the compass (God’s will, fate, the Uni-verse at work, etc.), it is the same thing, but looks and will be experienced differently by all of us.

  • You’re welcome Barbz! Yes, me too along my path of life…so many times, we can become an object for others to judge. Now, I smile when I hear and say, “thank you for your opinion.” In saying those words, most will feel achievement in what they sought…a feeling of being needed, which comes from their own fear of not being valued.” We can both depart each others company…I can evaluate their opinion (and everyone has them…just like well…you know 🙂 )…and then make my own decision.

    Awesome that you are aware and doing the work…I too work on it everyday and still catch myself second guessing my own Voice.

    Namaste…and enjoy your Path, for it is your to enjoy…and this earth can be a beautiful place indeed.

    Greg

  • Wonderful Jasmine!
    Your words create a smile within me in the knowing that the words I have written can help reinforce another human. This my passion.

    My your day be filled with Strength…
    Your own Strength as you flow in the moments of time…
    for it is your internal guidance system which keeps you present…
    always speaking to you in every moment…
    even when you sleep.

    🙂 is a smile for you to keep…
    Peace to you,
    Greg

  • Right on Caroline in your creation of a simple Way!…and thank you for your kind words on what I wrote.

    It’s funny to me now as I reflect on my half century of life here on this earth…
    so many years of making things waaaaaaay more complicated than they needed to be…but I have no regrets…for it was the experience of all those events which have brought me here to this flowing moment of time.

    You have nailed it I think. Remaining in the present which is not static and flows, can…and was for me…be a difficult task at first. However, once there and when it becomes part of us, then we do not need a book or anything else to “tell” us what to do. We simply “know”…and the cool thing is this…

    we have always known from the beginning of time

    It truly is simple…
    listen to the Voice of you and name it whatever you wish…
    the Voice does not care about names…
    only that you communicate with that which was a Gift to you…
    for this is where Peace, flow, and Love is found.

    May your day be filled with Joy as you communicate with You…
    all others will see you smile and you will help them create a smile for everyone they come into contact with…
    spread Joy.

    Peace to you,
    Greg

  • I’d say Divine Providence had brought me to read your story above. Booster it’s been for me. Thanks and blessings to you…

  • And your words boost me Lester!
    This is an example of your Voice speaking and I respect what you wish to call the nudge you received…

    While I was alone at sea far out into the Atlantic Ocean…
    I too received strong communications to keep going in whatever direction I was advised to go…
    even if the direction within the moment seemed to differ from where I finally wished to arrive…
    for, at the end of the physical journey…
    I ended up where I needed to be most.

    Blessings to you as well on your life path…
    may you find what you seek.

    Peace to you,
    Greg

  • Shivang Sarawagi

    What an Article Greg !! What an article. Salute to you. This article speaks volumes of how much in depth comprehension you have about life. Thanks for letting me have such a wonderful experience reading your article. I can relate so much with this.
    Like Barbz said this is really enlightening.

  • Shivang Sarawagi

    truly said !!

  • Thank you Shivang! So much positive energy here which I take into my day…
    and you are welcome…

    The more we listen…
    the more we realize we are truly all come from the same spark of light…
    the more we can create positive flow which will only speak volumes to others we come into contact with…
    even those who struggle with what they take in from the exterior…
    an exterior which cannot see all that is within You.

    I see you smile in my Heart,
    Greg

  • 🙂

  • lv2terp

    Love this post, thank you for sharing your message and insight!! 🙂 I look forward to reading this to my kids! 🙂

  • Fiona

    Thank you for this today Greg.

    At 30 I feel it’s only now that I am beginning to recognise and respect my true nature. Late to the party perhaps, but I’m so glad I finally got here! As someone who has arguably sought motivation and validation externally, this new perspective feels so much, easier. I have no doubt that I have lots of work to do, but reading words such as yours really inspires me to keep going.

  • d_lite

    Thank you for this one Greg!

  • You’re welcome d_lite!

    May your day be filled with Joy,
    Greg

  • 🙂 Fiona…
    I was 50 when I finally began to recognize and respect my true nature…
    for some of us…
    including me…
    it takes getting whacked pretty hard spiritually before we see how simple it can be…
    we just have to listen to what we all have…
    and I will work on it as long as I walk this earth…
    for me at least…
    I think this is why we are here.

    When the Universe says to us, “OK, let’s try this again, only this time you’re going to go through something even more intense…perhaps this time, you’ll get it”

    I took the challenge and traveled that path…
    and found something wonderful…
    Peace, Love and Home.

    Have a wonderful day,
    Greg

  • Awesome!
    I would love to know what your children think and what they say to you. For, the children of us seem to be more connected to themselves than we are some times…
    at least for me.
    🙂

    thank you for your kind words,
    Greg

  • DianeW

    Well said, Caroline, and I agree with you. This year has been challenging and I’m heading towards a path I’d never thought I’d travel. My journey begins with a life coach this month and I’m looking forward to her guidance. My future means discovering personal happiness, embracing the ability for self-love, and finding the courage to take the path of my true destiny. Thanks Greg for a wonderful post!

  • You’re welcome Diane!
    My the winds of a positive life fill your sails as you take your path of your true destiny…

    enjoy the ride,
    Greg

  • Melissa

    As someone realizing that I have a tendency to become co-dependent in relationships and seek approval from others, learning to identify and follow my intuition is my present goal. Do you have any practical advice on how to judge your intuition from fear? Or what should I do when I don’t “feel” my intuition at all? Any advice you can give is most appreciated!
    Kind regards,
    Melissa

  • biglove

    your words really spoke to my soul- wow… I have only begun to life my life and make decisions based on my own internal truth and I just turned 40!! thankyou for reminding me that it is worth it and that to do what others think I should do is soul squelching (what a great word!!) Im so looking fwd to my next 40 years living with my own internal compass as my guide- I love that metaphor;)

  • Thank you biglove…you are doing it 10 years before I did! 🙂 Nice work!!
    haha…soul squelching…gonna add that one to my personal dictionary…I love it!

    the compass metaphor has been inside me for many years and it took being at sea staring at one for so long to realize it is deep within us as well as on the surface.

    Much Gratitude to you and everyone here for sharing how these words touch your Souls…

    Peace to you,
    Greg

  • Great question Melissa! Thank you for asking…

    I too have been a massive co-dependent person in my past relationships. The last one, I was a complete doormat for the other…which is complete weakness on my part and negative in the sense that I neglected my own inner Truth which is a product of listening to my Voice.

    This is my personal belief…

    For two people to co-exist as friends or partners, the two must be strong independently. Sure, we must help each other to a point, but to actually do things for another who can actually do for themselves, we fall into the trap of co-dependency. Fear comes into play when we say to ourselves, “If I do not do for them, they will leave me or not like me anymore.” That is negative. That is destructive.

    Unconditional Love is the answer, I believe and when we can quiet our minds for a time, we will hear a smiling conversation with our Voice. Fear will tell you to do things which cause you and others harm. Ask your self this question, “If I do this, will I smile and will I heal both self and another?” Unless there is a positive outcome to what you are asked to do, then your intuition is not speaking…Fear is.

    Your intuition…or Your Voice as I call it…is always speaking to you. In the beginning of trying to listen…find a quiet space away from others…away from any and all distractions…quiet your mind of anything in the past and anything you forsee in the future. Concentrate on your breathing in order to stay in the present flowing moments of time…and listen. Over time, you will be able to do this as you do many things, but always remain in the present. When you have a conversation with another human…truly listen to them all the way to the end of what they are saying, even if they are long winded. Perhaps try and not think of anything at all to say in response…just be present with them as they speak and hear everything. Pause for a moment…then speak. For me, this exercise on a daily basis allows me to stay present and I can hear my Voice always.

    I hope this helps, Melissa…Life is easy perhaps if the present is what we concentrate on most…and the nice thing is this…no concentration is needed over time.

    Peace to you as you follow your own path of life…it is yours to follow and no one else’s,
    Greg

  • Steven

    Greg –

    Thank you for your words. I think this is one of the most articulate posts I have ever read on this site.

    I, too, had a teacher that tried to stop me from dreaming. Mr Wheeler, my third grade teacher, told the class I wasn’t smart enough to go to college. Happy to say he didn’t stop me from getting my degrees at San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley.

    Many years ago, I had a chance encounter with novelist James Leo Herlihy. Mostly forgotten today, I am sorry to say, he wrote several novels. His most noteworthy novel is Midnight Cowboy and it was adopted into a wonderful film.

    Leo told me: “Always be yourself and that way no one can tell you you’re doing it wrong.”
    He also reminded me: “There are a group of people on this earth called creationists. They believe the world was created in six days. Well, for some of us, it takes a little longer.”

    Bright blessings to you, Greg.

  • “Leo told me: “Always be yourself and that way no one can tell you you’re doing it wrong.” ” Perfection…you are blessed to have had that encounter…his thoughts exist in you! There exists moments in our lives where what is said to us both uplifting and the opposite will become etched for all time to come. Thank you for sharing such profound moments here.

    Thank you, Steven for the warmth…
    Gratitude I feel…
    I feel blessed.

    Dream killers come from Fear it seems…
    we share with them our passion and if they do not share the same…
    it scares them and when an animal is scared into a corner, what do they do?
    Lash out with their own insecurities at the helm of their vessel.

    Many years it took me to realize this…
    Grateful for the process I am…
    for, the product of the challenges is Strength and a Lightness of Being…
    my dog, Lucky and I can walk this earth with smiles on our faces even when we face a monster.

    Your teacher of many years ago and my Guidance Counselor (the irony of the title makes me smile)…
    were seemingly cut from the same cloth of experiences…
    apparently they learned very little and remained trapped within their Fears…
    perhaps they learned later in life, yet how many Dreams of young ones did they destroy in the process?

    Yet again…
    what my Guidance Counselor did for me was help solidity a path of independence…
    for in this realization I find the Positive…
    and the Positive can always be found if we dig…
    and sometimes we have to dig very deep.

    Thank you for this comment again, Steve. I love being inspired by those who comment and engage me in conversation…a great beginning to my day.

    Peace to you and blessings,
    Greg

  • Valerie Rogers

    That inner voice will always guide and never let you down. My only big mistakes were when I didn’t follow it.

  • 🙂 Mine too Valerie…mine too.

    Yet, I am grateful for making the mistakes even though much pain was involved at the time…
    I now have a huge file folder within my brain over 50 plus years to reference…
    as many times as I fall…
    and I do…
    I get up with more knowledge than before and continue along the path I have chosen…
    and smile after I brush the dust off of my skin.

    Loving life in all of the experiences which no longer exist and flowing in the Now,
    Greg

  • onewithnature

    Thank you for the enlightenment. I’ve spent a large percentage of my life listening to others and have always been hard on myself. Thank you for the wisdom.

  • You’re welcome onewithnature…
    Love the name you chose, btw…
    exactly how I felt while at sea…
    especially the day of an intense storm and I saw behind me, three whales surfing down the face of a huge wave…
    my perspective changed from angst to Peace in a split second.

    I did the same…
    it really is easier letting the listening stop there…
    take it in as a mere opinion of someone who only knows so much and not everything…
    then listen to the Voice of you and make the Choices without their consent…
    for, they do not know you completely…
    only you know you at that level.

    and…
    not being able to change that which no longer exists…
    and all things in the past fall into that category…
    makes it truly easier to let the past go.

    you are where you are right now as you read these words and have the thoughts you have…
    what you do next is wide open for you…
    smile in the knowing that you and you alone can if you wish…
    determine your future beginning seconds from now.

    Perhaps ease up on yourself…
    when you do and accept that which cannot be changed….
    you will smile and your burdens will become a little lighter in the knowing…
    and you can travel your path in peace.

    the Universe…
    or whatever you wish to call It…
    supports whatever you do with love in your Heart and peace in your Soul…
    Listen now as you quiet your mind of all things which do not exist…
    and nothing does except this flowing moment of time.

    Peace to you,
    greg

  • Tranzparent

    Thank-you for the great article, which seemed to arrive at just the right time for me. Today, on the anniversary of John Lennon’s death, I am doing quite a bit of reflecting. He was 40 when he died…. I happen to be 40 now. With our second child on the way, I want to succeed at fostering positive changes that stick and living life according to my highest vision of myself. For a long time, I have yearned to follow my ‘inner voice’ and live ‘in the present’, yet have done so with only minimal success. I have such a bad habit of making change so complicated! Moving forward, I want to learn to be more assertive instead of a slave to fear (my own and that of others). Thanks again.

  • jo

    Beautiful. And elegant. Like the compass in all of us when we find it 🙂

  • Lulu

    I have likened the voice, or intiution to a pulse or sound off in the distance. You can always hear it, but you chose not to. When you are quiet and observant you will hear it clearly, but it take time to foster the confidence to trust it.
    I am 39 and last year I threw away a successful lucrative career to study nursing full time. I was a single mum to two children with a mortgage and no idea how I was actually going to do it, but I knew that it was time. For such a long time that little pulse or sound had been whispering to me, but I wasn’t ready to listen. What it wanted me to do was ‘too hard’, ‘too expensive’… well, too hard. Eventually I ran out of excuses and I’ve just successfully completed the second year of my degree. Its been tough financially, but I’ve never been happier. When you live without ‘stuff’ and live simply, its a wonderful lesson.
    I honestly believe that if you take the leap and just trust, it honestly will be ok. It really will. I know this.

  • Beautiful Lulu…
    and congratulations for the completion of your second year towards the degree…
    the rewards you must be feeling go so far beyond what some humans have created value out of paper…
    wonderful.

    Yes, I too believe in the choice of listening or not. It’s funny to me sometimes when I think back to the times of actually listening in faith of my choice. Seemingly ridiculous to some and even me…but in the end of that particular phase of the journey…the lessons become clear and the strength gained from the experiences become profound in the transformation of self.

    And we continue…
    blessings to you as you press forward…
    thank you for your words here…
    someone will read your words a be touched in a positive way…
    and you will have spread both Love and Peace.

    peace to you,
    greg

  • Thank you jo…
    our internal compass is quite beautiful…
    and so well created for each of us to navigate by.

    peace to you,
    greg

  • I Love Timing…
    it becomes fun to just flow with what presents itself in the present moments…
    everyday, I talk with many different people…
    I look into their eyes as they speak to me and hear what they say…
    I eliminate all that creates my life except for what is being spoken to me in that moment because I never know exactly where it will lead until I am there…
    and the not-knowing…
    the unknown…
    invigorates my soul…

    this is how I get to the present and listen to my inner voice…
    I know change will always come…
    and the key factor for me is to not make it…
    I let it make me…
    and when I do that…
    Fear cannot enter me.
    🙂

    Congratulations on the next little one in your life…
    as he or she looks into your eyes and smiles big…
    there will be a knowing of love from you…
    and that is the greatest gift of remaining in the present moment as it flows forward in time…
    Love.

    Peace to you,
    greg

  • Lulu

    Thank you for your kind words Greg, life is indeed a wonderful journey. As I progress through my studies, I find a personal satisfaction that I’ve never previously known 🙂

  • You’re welcome Lulu…
    may you always find Joy along your path…
    the journey is truly wonderful even in times of Challenge.
    🙂

  • Nicole Martin

    Thank you Greg, for your intelligent
    observations, that honor life in the individual.

    Brave souls always choose to go with their
    natural intuitive power.

    In my case, trusting my intuitive power led
    me to have many extraordinary
    experiences.

    May the spirit of outrageous joy be with
    you always!

  • jagadish INDIA

    I fantastic articel I am also near 40 now 39 in my high school level i misguided by others and i dint listen my inner voice so still now i sufferd lot due to listening othrs advice not my internal voice now once again god give me other chance to listen my inner voice and fullfil my ambitions now again the same advices came from othrers in the name of welwishers this time I am adoment and i wll listen my inner voice ur articel is so useful todys my situation tx a lot

  • 🙂 jagadish…
    only you know you…
    and the voice you listen to loves you very much…
    only the best for your soul is the guiding force within you…

    no matter what anyone says or does…
    even in their own love for you…
    the decisions you make…
    only you must make and no other can do this…even if they think they can.

    I send Light to a brother in life…
    and halfway around this planet is really not that far at all when we consider the cosmos…

    keep your path…much peace to you,
    greg

  • You are welcome Nicole!
    my observations are only what I have experienced and what I know in my being from many challenges…
    and we all have them as I know you must have had…
    yet again…I thank you and am humbled.

    🙂
    and may the outrageous spirit of joy be with you as well…
    the experiences of the sea were reckless according to some who judged me…
    and it was from Fear they came…
    I wish for them many challenges overcome and perhaps they too will get what you already do…

    Extraordinary is the way of change…
    the way of growth…
    the way of joy…
    the way of Peace…
    and most important of all…
    the way of Love,

    Peace to you,
    greg

  • Dilip Sutariya

    This is fantabulous. this story make me to dreg down unit it’s over nice one. 🙂

  • Thank you Dilip for reading everything and feeling the whole…
    this is how we can can get through the things in our lives…
    even if we sometimes face a challenge…
    we listen and the Voice will guide us to the destination we are working towards.

    🙂
    peace to you,
    greg

  • Erik Donofrio

    Great read, it made things click for me because I had a very similar situation in which a guidance counselor told me I could not go to certain schools. I got into the schools she did not think I could get into and without knowing it (until this article brought it to light) I followed my inner voice to a school far from home, and my life has since been forever great. I am now is graduate school working on a Masters degree with hopes of continuing to get a PhD. Thanks for the wisdom Greg!

    -Erik

  • Gourav Nandy

    Hi Greg.
    I am going through a bit of a setback.I had a break up six years ago and when i was in college and one day when i was hanging out with my friends, my schoolmate ridiculed me of my break up and we ended up fighting and i took more blows than him.Now i am feelin revengeful.Please advice.

  • Wow Erik, I thank you for sharing this and way to go!

    I too did not realize what the internal guidance system within was until a few years ago. Upon reflection over many years and decisions, I can find the joy of the learning process…the times I listened with the successes and the times I did not with the painful, yet teachable moments…both of which I am grateful, for I have knowledge which is priceless.

    Congratulations on your progress along the path you have chosen…even more so for making the choices yourself. May you find continually growing Peace as you travel and spread your smile to all those you encounter along the way.

    The Voice of us is always there…
    all we have to do is remain in the flowing moments of the present and we will hear…
    we can ask a question…
    and an answer will surface quietly…softly…joyfully in Peace.

    Enjoy the ride Erik…
    I feel you will…
    fly.

    ~Greg

  • Gourav…
    the fact that you are here reading these words on this site of Peace means a great deal…
    know this about yourself…
    for no matter what anyone else says…
    you seek that which requires the greatest strength of all…
    the ability to be a calm human during the fiercest of storms…
    and that my friend, is Brave.

    Know this…
    only the weak will attack another…
    for they will only attack when they wish to be seen as strong…
    the one who attacked you about your past relationship and kept going even when they saw you become affected by the ridicule, is not your friend…
    a true friend would only do the opposite.

    I feel sorry for the weak of spirit. In my quiet moments, I send them Light from my Heart, for they come from a Fearful darkness…
    and this is why they lash out…
    your schoolmate who ridiculed you comes from this place…
    your schoolmate is feeling pain about something…
    your schoolmate wishes to feel superior to you for some reason…
    your schoolmate is fearful of not only you, but all others.

    In my fifty plus years on this planet, I have been attacked many times. Over time, I have learned a great lesson. “Be Like Bamboo” is something someone told me once. Bamboo seems like it could be a weak plant. Very thin which can bend easily. Yet, some types of bamboo grow very tall over a life of many storms with high winds which make it bend almost all the way to the ground…but it does not break. As the winds cease becoming calm again…and they always will…the bamboo straightens up again. The cool thing is this: the bamboo plant becomes stronger with each passing storm…able to grown higher over time.

    Be like that bamboo plant, Gorav. Let the negative winds of people saying dumb things to you just blow past you. As you stand firm quietly, they will stop…for, the weak of spirit like those other humans who say negative things to you…will become bored and move onto other things.

    And perhaps you will teach them something positive. Perhaps they will see your strength of spirit and will themselves grow out of their own fears and become as strong as you already are…and you will become an Angel to them.

    If you like to read…and I think you do since you are here reading these words…I would like to suggest a book for you. It is called, “The art of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict” by the Arbinger Institute. When I read this book, many people of my past who I did not like very much…and there were a few…I began to see them in a different way.

    Quiet your mind now. Forget that which cannot be changed…and all things which have already happened fall into that category of that which cannot be changed. Never-mind the future for now…just be present with me here as you read these words. Listen to your Peaceful Voice…it will never say anything which is not loving…for your Voice is Love…and you will never be alone.

    Stay in this moment of Positivism and you will attract similar humans to you who remain positive…those will be your friends…and those friends are the most important ones…for, they Love you.

    I send Light,
    Greg

  • Savannah833

    This is so true and developing trust in my own compass was a large part of the work I did with my therapist. I had become so dependent on others for the “right answer” (parents, friends, others), that I was often immobilized. I would literally ask 3-4 friends their opinion on what I should do about a certain issue, and I’d try to take the “average” of their suggestion– but little good that did. I just ended up confused and more unsure of the answer (because everyone comes at issues from their own unique vantage point).

    The turning point came when I had to get a new mattress for my bed. Prior to going, I called my parents to get their input and then I went to the mattress store and bought the mattress that felt right to me. I called my Mom proudly to tell her that I had decided on a “Firm” mattress, and she disparaged my choice vehemently and told me I should have gotten an “Extra Firm” and she told me to call the store immediately to get it replaced.

    Long story short, I went through 3 mattresses because nothing felt right–until I came back to my original first choice. No one but me knows how good a mattress works with my body, but I grew up with two very bossy parents who never made me feel like I had the ability to make smart decisions. Slowly but surely, I started to make decisions without calling my parents and we were both so much better for it.

  • Wonderful Savannah…
    especially to read your words this day…

    Finding yourself in the Present Moment…
    flowing with time…
    and rooting yourself to Self…
    you found the Voice and listened even after all of the “noise” from others…
    you showed your Strength…
    and perhaps it will take time for the others to see who you are…
    an individual who is Courageous enough to stand in her Strength.

    Nice work and with this found Power…
    you will fly into the future with a smile on your face…
    and sleep better in the process. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing this with me…
    and us.

    Peace to you on this day…
    and blessings each day as you walk your path into the future,
    Greg

  • Ash

    Wow Greg! What an inspiring article. Beautifully written.

    I completely agree that we all have an internal compass and it is important to pay heed to it. Sadly I listened to the advice of the equivalent of my counsellor (a family member) and ended up spending 15 years in finance in the corporate world.

    I have decided to boldly pursue my passion and started a website about eight months ago. I haven’t had any success in monetising it so far but the journey has been extremely rewarding so far. Once I figure out a way to make an income from my website I will have achieved a very important goal in my life.

    Congratulations on getting admitted into Carnegie melon. More importantly congratulations are not believing another persons opinion that could potentially have directed your life on a completely different trajectory.

  • Ash

    Hi Greg

    I really like your bamboo analogy.

    I too struggled in the issue of wrestling with painful memories in the past or projected future scenarios which manifest as fears.

    Eventually I discovered how to integrate my solution into the present moment focused awareness.

    Here’s what I found to be particularly helpful: I bring my attention back to the physical bodily sensations associated with the fear or the resentment and focus on letting go of those. I think this works for two reasons

    1. It brings to mind back into the present moment away from the memories of the past or projected fears in the future. I find that these other culprits fuelling the fear of the resentment in the first place. Bringing my attention to the present moment in the form of focus on bodily sensations weakens the grip of these memories of fears.
    2. Focusing on physical bodily sensations Christmas my mind something constructive to work with in the present moment which I find to be very grounding.

  • Thank you Ash for seeing Beauty in what I wrote here…Gratitude.

    Perhaps you have already achieved a massive goal with more to follow…
    the decision to pursue a passion with faith in yourself without letting others dictate what your goals should be, is a massive Light for all around you. You become an inspiration in your quest no matter the outcome because you courageously made a choice.

    You are blessed and supported in your quest and whatever you learn along this path you have chosen will only create even more strength within your Core, which will compound over time.

    One thing I learned while being at sea alone is perhaps considered a cliche by some…
    “It is not the destination…it is the journey”

    Pursuing the Passion of You is an Epic Journey and my wish for you, Ash, is that you enjoy the ride…I know you will.

    There will be hills, valleys, fog, dark forests and beautiful Light while you travel…and all of the experiences you have yet to feel, will be wonderful teachable moments.

    And yes, “not believing another persons opinion that could potentially have directed your life on a completely different trajectory” is a great phrase to remember as we listen to others…

    Not that we shut those other voices out…they will always be there, but having the inner strength upon listening to our own Voice is the key…and doing so with a sweet smile on our faces we go into the future.

    May the winds of positivism be at your back on your journey in this new year,
    Greg

  • Perfection, Ash…
    what a great way to Flow in the Now and remain in the present moment which always moves forward…

    I do a similar exercise when challenged by both outside and inside forces.

    Awesome and may anyone who is challenged right now while reading your words, be blessed as they practice your exercise…you never know who you may touch with your Light.

    The Present is where our Strength gathers fuel.
    🙂

  • Divya Natarajan

    Hi Greg! This is exactly what I was looking for. I am 22 years old graduate who seems to be very confused and doesn’t really know what’s right or wrong at the moment. I lost the most precious person in my life- my mother, two months ago. I loved her the most and she was everything to me- a true friend, a guide, a confidant. I had to discontinue the first job that I took up as a software engineer trainee(even though i was never really passionate about it). I am going through a rough patch(emotionally as well as career wise) and its difficult for me to make up my mind as to what I should do further in life or what path do I need to follow. But, thanks to your article, I have got my answer. I know that I gotta listen to my inner voice and work towards achieving my aim in a determined way. I, and only I alone, will be responsible for the decisions and choices in my life. I have to do something that makes me happy, not what other people think is right for me. It may take some time to bring together the pieces of the puzzle called ‘Life’, but I am sure I will reach somewhere and not be lost. And as you mentioned about your counselor, sometimes, the greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. 🙂
    Thanks for the share. God bless you!

  • Within the moments which flow forward…
    we walk or move in the way a vessel takes us…
    and as we stay in our Present…
    the puzzle pieces appear with locations to place them properly for how we are…

    you are wise Divya to look and listen within…
    for what is right and wrong take on meaning there…
    and this is where the truth of guidance resides…
    even when others preach something different to us…

    I send you Gratitude through my heart for your sharing here…
    for you become an inspiration to others perhaps who read your words spoken…
    you gift others with your sharing as they too perhaps feel the struggle of placing their puzzle pieces together…
    me included…

    when we communicate our truths to each other as humans…
    we release what burdens us in a way which creates space for listening to our inner voice more clearly…
    much to be heard is there for us as travelers along our individual paths of Life…
    even the ones who have passed can speak to us from within if we listen…

    While I was far out to sea alone, a bird unknown came to me each morning as if to communicate. I though it strange at first, this beautiful bird of white just hovering above me and staring silently day after day while other types of birds ignored my presence upon the sea. When I arrived in Bermuda, the old ones there told me that the bird, the Bermuda Longtail, carries the spirits of loved ones passed…and my father had died at sea almost 10 years earlier. Was it my father protecting me while I was facing the challenge of being at sea alone? It is my choice to believe this and I do regardless of what others may say. Perhaps in your moments of quiet as you flow into the future, you too will have a moment such as this.

    As we remain peace filled along our paths…
    accepting what cannot be changed…
    and smiling as we shape what will be…
    we will see many things of Love.

    Blessings and Gratitude to you,
    Greg

  • “Only you know you completely. No other human will ever come close. So why would you ever let another human decide anything for you?” THANK YOU.

  • Nixx

    What if, through all your struggling and pain, you completely lost trust in your inner voice? As you find its judgememts to be that of a “broken compass”? A broken compass can’t tell true direction anymore. How do you follow something that you have lost hope in, because you know that it won’t take you the right way? And then what? Do you just get a new one or fix the old one? How do you do that anyway when your lost somewhere on a mountain with no shop or repair tools? Don’t get me wrong, this was an amazing passage to read! I just feel like my compass is broken and I’m stranded somewhere in the mountain. I must have accidentally dropped it and it broke… (just through the eyes of someone with no clear direction.)

  • Thank you Nixx for these questions and your wonderful compliment…I have thought about your questions for a few days now…

    For me at least, I felt as if I was lost which lead to many intense challenges which in turn lead to many more and I felt broken along that path. Along the path, I faced a time in which I had to make some difficult choices…life or death ones and at the time, I understood little about how strong that little whisper inside of us actually is…until I made the choice to truely listen to the first whisper and not second guess. The second guessing from the past I realized was my physical mind fighting that which was Truth. And it is faith in self…the internal compass…the inner voice each of us has…which can guide us through any challenge we face…but we must listen and take that leap of faith which can at times scare the you know what out of us.

    I wrote this the other day as I faced a challenge of fear and it lead to a wonderful experience with a day filled with joy…

    “A heart which has been through much is a good thing if we allow it to be…

    experience teaches us many positive lessons…

    even the intense ones…

    for, those lessons when seen in Light…

    creates a strength which cannot be taken away…

    the holes simply are there for us to reflect upon those lessons…

    and the strength supports the Love we have now for the Voyagers as they sail towards their Destiny no matter where the path may lead.

    Peace is found…

    and Love is there.”

    found here if you wish to read more; http://gregfrucci.com/2015/02/14/happy-valentines-day-love/

    I feel the answer is this, Nixx:

    Whatever you drop, you can pick up, for it was you who dropped it. Perhaps, choose to pick that which you dropped and lovingly put it back together. Hard? Perhaps in the beginning because it may seem impossible…but know this…whatever the mind breaks, the mind can mend…for it is just that…a creation of the mind. We are all creators and we do it each day. We create scenarios of events which may or not be real. I do not pretend to know what your life is like, but I do know this…our minds have the capacity to create anything we wish to create in the mind…so why choose to create something destructive? Create the opposite…choice.

    Perhaps quiet the mind now…

    in the silence you will hear the first whisper…

    and that whisper is your Soul lovingly speaking and wanting to fly free in the life you live right now…

    listen to that first voice…

    and you will be free.

  • 🙂 Exactly Chau….You’re welcome and thank you for feeling the answer and writing a response!

  • Nixx

    It took me a few days to calm my emotions to really take in what you answered, and thank you so much for that! It is a kind gesture like this that can give some people just a little hope to try just a little harder.. Thank you for your wise words, I truly hope and believe I will someday think back in memory of your reply and smile, because you made a difference in my life.

    God bless
    xx

  • If you believe…
    and I feel you do…
    then you have the Faith in yourself which will get you to the destination of your dreams…

    you have taken the most difficult step…

    the rest will be easier as your confidence grows…
    you are a kind one who is filled with the positive…
    as you spread this to others as you have done to me…
    your Light will shine even brighter…

    Peace to you as you fly high,
    Greg

  • This is a great quote – and every (and any) time I feel lost or indecisive, I refer to it. It’s smart, wise and just sassy enough to give you that boost of confidence 🙂

  • Mine too, Valerie…I still start to second guess sometimes. It is funny though…these days, I catch myself during the process of second guessing and begin to laugh out loud. I quickly remember the first voice and go that way…even when it scares the surface me…the inner me simply smiles.

    🙂

  • xav

    When I read the headline is was really looking forward to instructions as to how to make that ‘voice inside’ more audible.. But just ‘listening inside’ doesn’t tell me whether what I’m doing right now is the right thing for me or not. so how can I improve my listening?