By being a good listener, people often come to me for advice. Maybe this is why I decided to get into psychology (or maybe I got into psychology because I’m such a good listener?) One of the common themes I recall has to do with people asking about some iteration of “the road not taken.” I’d be lying if, I, myself, never considered that I took “the wrong road.”
The advice that stems from this title is simple: you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
In short: if “here” weren’t where you were supposed to be, you’d be somewhere else.
After I continually repeat some iteration of these two phrases (the title and the one in the previous sentence), the advice-seeker’s demeanor begins to soften in a way that lets me know that they’ve taken ‘it’ in. It’s one of my favorite pieces of advice (along with “We’ll See…“) Why? Because it gives the advice-seeker the permission to stop second-guessing themselves, something that our culture is rife with. It lets the person be okay with where they are and in another way, gives them permission to stop wishing they were somewhere else.
Of course, someone may choose to continue to wish they were somewhere else, but this philosophy can be — at least a little bit — liberating.
An extension of this phrase can be used when someone is still in the ‘before’ stage of their decision. That is, I just described how it can be used ‘after’ someone’s made a decision, but it can also be offered before a decision is made. When someone is trying to decide between two paths, again, it can be kind of freeing when you realize that no matter which way you choose, it will be the ‘right’ way.
I also want to make it clear that I’m not offering this phrase/post as a “tweet-worthy” canned piece of advice. There’s a whole philosophy (see either fatalism or predeterminism) behind this way of thinking and some folks subscribe to it. I’m not advocating one subscribe to it in some or all instances, but I would suggest one take the time to consider it.