Looking for a Sign? This Story Could Be It!

You know those days when it feels like everything is going wrong?

Someone cancels on you, you drop your favourite coffee mug, a child or a pet becomes ill…

As the events snowball, you’re left so frustrated that you can only shake your head in disbelief, or laugh (if you’ve got the energy).

If you’re having one of those days, this uplifting story is for you.

Bhawana, an Indian student who has lived in Canada, shares a precious lesson she learned recently when it felt like nothing was going her way.

“Sometimes, when we don’t pay attention to the signs and keep doing our own thing, I believe that life drops hints to guide us in the right direction. These can be in the form of books, a song on the radio or a phone call out of blue…

When it all goes wrong…

I had cancelled my trip to Delhi so I could submit my assignments on time instead.

Shortly before the deadline for my oral presentation, I got a call to say it had been postponed for some unavoidable reason.

I was really irritated: now I was neither going to Delhi nor wrapping up my course work. I lost my cool… things were not going my way. At home later that day, I tripped and twisted my foot.

When a friend called to see how I was doing, I ranted and raved about how frustrated I was.

When he calmly replied, “Sometimes these things happen,” I realised I needed to take a moment and decided to tidy my little library.

An unexpected message

As I dusted the books, a pile of them fell on my head. (It seemed that everything that could, was going wrong.)

As I picked up one of the books though, it made me stop a minute. The Secret… I smirked.

What could a self-help book possibly do to perk me up? I cynically opened it mid-way. And the magical words appeared: “let go and surrender”.

I felt shaken up, amazed. Was this message trying to tell me something while I was busy planning every detail and getting angry?

I’d been trying so hard to make things work, that I was instead creating resistance.

It is so easy to get carried away with our own misery and moods. I realised I had two options: either worry over what seemed like wasted time or sit back and let things take their own course.

I kept reading:

“When someone asks how you are, don’t measure it by the success of the day or what went wrong but what good you did.

How much better were you as a person as the day passed? Were you nice to someone? Did you correct a mistake? Did you bring a smile to someone? …

That is the real meaning of success. Being a good person. That’s all that is in your hands.”

Those lines had a magical effect on me. I immediately eased up, had a smile on my face.

I decided to not think of the day as a wasted one. I continued reading, sipping on some tea. I began to enjoy my free time, with myself –something I hadn’t done for a very long time.

The next day I got a call: the earlier deadline had been reinstated. As I agreed, I smiled and felt immense gratitude for the sign that had helped me to let go and trust the moment.”


Sometimes we have all these plans and yet life takes us on a completely different path. Although we may not see it immediately, we are often led somewhere better and far more magical than what we had imagined. May this message inspire you today.


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© Vivian Chiona, Expat Nest

Photo: Austin Chan / Unsplash