In the fall of 2002, Tim and I moved back to our hometown in West Virginia. As we were unpacking, Tim removed a long tube from a box and unrolled many of our favorite posters. One poster was of a beautiful castle, which neither of us remembered buying. We weren’t sure how it made its way deep inside our roll of posters.
Tim said, “I’m going to hang this on the wall in our office to inspire us. It looks like a European castle, but also vaguely familiar.”
A few weeks later, my friend Kathy called and said that an extra space had opened on her European ski trip. It was an exciting itinerary. The two-week trip would begin by flying into Vienna, Austria, boarding a train weaving through the Austrian Alps to Innsbruck and ending with a bus ride and tour of Munich, Germany. I had never been to Europe, but it had been on my bucket list for a long time. Amazingly, I was able to get a frequent flyer ticket and my first-ever passport in time to accompany her.
In early February 2003, the week before we were to leave, it was imminent that there would be a war in Iraq. The news reported, “Americans are in danger and should not travel abroad.” Friends and family members asked me to reconsider. My instincts told me that I should still go.
It was an exciting trip. We toured through the Alps including places where the Sound of Music had been filmed. On one special trip, we were taken by bus to visit the castle that is a model for the showpiece at Disneyland. After riding a bus for two hours, we hiked up a snow-covered road for a couple of miles. The tour guide said in broken English that it was Cinderella’s Castle.
About halfway up the hill, I rounded a corner and there was a gift shop. What I saw took my breath away. Hanging on the wall was the exact same poster of the castle that was hung in my office! I realized then that this was the castle that I would soon see for real.
At that point, I felt that my instincts to take this trip were right on.
If I didn’t believe in my intuition before, this made me realize I was supposed to be here. I’ve remembered this lesson from that point forward so that I always try to listen to that inner voice.
Do you try to override feelings that you need to check-in with one of your fellow employees, a donor or even a family member? Our intuition is one of the attributes that makes us good fundraisers. Don’t ignore it. Act on it and make that phone call now!
You may just be helping someone ‘round a corner by trusting your intuition.