How Do You Read the Signs of Life?

Do you remember the 1971 classic song, Signs by the Five Man Electrical Band?

It was a protest song about discrimination and the difference between the youth of the day and the “establishment.” The lyrics may be a little dated, but the idea is still valid.

Everyday we are confronted by signs. Real and figurative.

Signs that want us to move in different directions all at the same time and signs that impose other’s desires on us.  How do you know which signs to read and follow and which ones to ignore?

I think before we can interpret the signs, we have to have a clear vision of our direction.  Once we know where we want to go (to the mall or to greater heights in our career), we should view the the instructions, signs and advice we get from the outside world and from well meaning friends and family, through the lens of our ultimate destination.

Do you know where you are going?

I’m not saying to turn a blind eye to the signs, I am just suggesting that we take those external messages and marry them to our knowledge, experience and internal voice to get us where we need to go. 

The challenge with signs is that they can become all consuming. We focus on signs – real and imagined – looking for inner meaning – worrying about what other people think – changing our direction to please others – and in the end, we loose sight of our direction.

Keep your internal compass pointed in the direction of your goal. When you see a sign that might take you off course ask yourself:

“Will this help me reach my ultimate goal?”

If not, you might want to question the need to follow the sign.  As in the words of the song Signs, they often send a message counter to their meaning. You might want to just create your own sign.

 “I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign. I said, Thank you Lord for thinking about me. I’m alive and doing fine.” Lyrics from Signs