Divine impressions, intuition, and instincts guide us. They help us avoid unnecessary pain… if we’re paying attention. But because we’re often busy, unaware, or inattentive, we miss many of them. It’s important to slow down and listen to our inner voice. That’s the Currant Bush Principle, which is Principle No. 11 in my book All the Right Reasons.
I believe there are things greater than us that influence our lives and influence the world around us. As you’re listening to your inner voice, the first thing you hear is usually what’s right. We should follow the first impression rather than talk ourselves out of heading in a different direction.
The Currant Bush
I relay a story in All the Right Reasons about a currant bush.
Hugh B. Brown tells the story of a farmer who purchased an unkempt farm where he found a currant bush that was at least six feet high, all going to wood. The overgrown tree couldn’t produce any fruit, so the farmer got his pruning shears and went to work clipping and cutting until there was nothing left of the bush but a little clump of stumps.
When the farmer gazed at the whittled-down tree, there seemed to be tears coming from the sheared branches and he could almost hear the currant bush weep.
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as large as the fruit tree and the shade tree, and now you have cut me down. All the other trees in the garden will look upon me with contempt and pity. How could you do it? I thought you were the gardener here. I thought you were my friend.”
The farmer looked on the little bush with compassion and replied, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. If I let you go the way you want to go, you will not be happy. But someday, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to think back and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.'”
Listen to Your Inner Voice
Years ago, listening to an inner voice and following through on it — no matter how hard it was — changed the course of my life.
After making the decision to stop pursuing a professional music career, I focused on my video production business, which grew to the point where USANA bought it. I’m now the Chairman & CEO of a billion-dollar enterprise.
As a teenager, I never would have suspected anything could have made me give up a professional music career. Life is full of unexpected turns and crossroads. If we pay attention, we’ll always choose the right road.
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Even though I chose to focus on business instead of music, my musical dreams have come full circle. I’ve had more experiences with some of the biggest music celebrities than most musicians in the business.
The second time I played at the Grand Ole Opry with Collin Raye’s band, I had the distinct impression I was being rewarded for that choice I had made years earlier.
“I am the gardener here,” a divine or inner voice seemed to say. “I know what I wanted you to be even if you didn’t. If I had let you grow the way you wanted, you wouldn’t have borne any fruit. But because you followed the path I laid out for you and did your part, this is my gift to you.”
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