A male college student was struggling in his choice of careers. What he had in abilities he lacked in direction. Frustrated and somewhat depressed, he decided to let the universe decide the matter. He asked God for a sign, and was given one.
“I was walking to my car when I found a book lying in a puddle by the driver’s side door. The title read, The Psychology of Influence and Persuasion. It was so odd to find it there that I thought it might be the sign I had asked for. Thirty-five years later I still have that book, all 322 wrinkled pages of it. It’s what got me into the field of marketing and sales. God works in mysterious ways,” he reflected with a smile.
Sometimes the ways of God seem even more mysterious when we misinterpret the signs.
Although this man’s career was reasonably successful, his adult life was not a terribly happy one. Alcoholism, two divorces, and the death of a child, mirrored the discord of his inner life. When he found the book he was a young man attracted to power. He was manipulative and self-centered in his relationships. Rather than encouraging him into a marketing career, the sign was actually telling him that his drive for influence over people needed to be dissolved. The book’s placement in a parking lot puddle also equates it with discarded trash. In other words, God doesn’t think much of his psychology of influence and persuasion.
Signs and synchronicities, like dreams, are not easily interpreted. The personality is a complex, dynamic, and multileveled being. It has its own language which takes years to learn and, even then, is never grasped in its entirety. In addition, there are forces within your personal psychology, similar to this man’s drive to power, that lead to biases in your perceptions and interpretations. Learning the language of the soul is one of the most challenging things you will do in life. But it is also one of the most important and rewarding. The right interpretation could save you from living the wrong life.