Life does not always go to plan, sometimes even the purest of intentions or well-thought out plans don’t eventuate as we’d hoped. It is at this time we find ourselves at a fork in the road; which way do we turn, when there’s no way of knowing what lies ahead? Standing at a crossroads offers us an opportunity for growth and change, one we don’t readily appreciate. We think of it as something to be avoided if possible.

When we find ourselves facing the task of making a major decision, it’s helpful to keep in mind that all roads lead somewhere, wherever that somewhere may be. It’s similar to studying a road map; with its many highways and tributary roads, all connected somehow and intersecting in different places. When we forge ahead, we can be confident we’ll arrive in a place we’re meant to; if we take the first step we could end up exactly where we wish to be.

The most common way of dealing with difficult decisions is to weigh up the pros and cons. Many people do this in an effort to clearly see the advantages or disadvantages of certain choices. These lists are great tools for gaining insight into a problem or challenge; they allow us to organise our thoughts in a comprehensive way and approach the situation from a standpoint of common sense and practicality. Yet sometimes these lists fail us when we ignore what our heart is telling us. Examining your situation doesn’t mean reviewing your choices from an intellectual perspective only, but also from your heart’s perspective. Listening to your heart is equally if not more important; it does not rationalise like the intellect but can be a major influence on your choices and actions.

The heart wants what it wants, because it wants it; there is no rhyme or reason as to why. It may appear an unreliable source, but if more people listened to their hearts it would increase their joy and overall happiness. No time would be wasted on things that do not resonate within us.

Sometimes standing at a crossroads can shine a light on avenues we had not considered before. We are always told everything has a purpose, nothing is of zero value, and that everything has a reason; by keeping this in mind, we are open to wherever the road ahead will lead us. It is always better to have options rather than none at all.

A fork in the road does not mean we should give up on our destination, it does not cancel out the dreams or goals we’ve set ourselves. It just means there is a diversion from the original path; a new road must be taken to get where we’re going. It requires us to stay focused on our goal and adjust to the new path. It doesn’t mean we won’t reach our destination; it just means we have to be willing to embark on a different course.

All of us know how fickle life is, how things change constantly and are completely beyond our control. The best we can do is take each day as it comes and deal with situations as they arise. There is nothing we can do to anticipate life or what it will bring us, but we can learn to remain open and flexible when we find ourselves at a crossroads; who knows what joy could be found down another path?