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Symbols: Do You See What I See?

January 25, 2017


An old friend of mine had a theory which was "when you're in a good place you start seeing good things". An example of this she used to use was seeing dropped coins on pavements - her view was when she was in a good place in her life, thinking of positive things, she would start seeing money on the road, like some kind of lucky charm. If she wasn't in a positive state, and wasn't thinking good thoughts, she claimed she wouldn't see them. It wasn't about picking up or keeping the money either, it was just about seeing it, and that was a really positive, strong signal for her.


I remember being a bit bemused when she first told me about this, and then recalling the times I'd seen dropped coins on the ground previously, and considering what those moments may have meant. We then went off in separate directions and didn't see each other anymore, and am not sure that I saw any coins either. Or, if I did, they didn't register. It was about eight years after this conversation that I started to remember my old friend and her coin theory. 


One workday morning I went out to get some lunch, then looked down and saw it - a 1p coin (I was living in London), sitting on the pavement. My brain immediately flashed back to that until then forgotten conversation with my friend years and years beforehand, and I imagined her laughing and telling me I was clearly in a good place in life and noticing positive signs.


Following this, I suddenly started seeing coins regularly. From 1p to £2, even a £10 note blowing across a road at one stage. Every time I saw a coin it gave me a little more comfort in knowing I was doing the best I could, was in a good place even though from time to time it didn't feel like it - and it felt like someone was watching out for me. Seeing coins/notes has become an extremely positive symbol for me.


Another symbol for me is music. There are a couple of artists in particular whose music just seems to give me a really positive push, and recently I've noticed these artists (or particular songs of theirs) playing in some very unusual places - and always at times when I (even if I didn't know it) needed them. Every time that happens it makes me feel as if someone is looking out for me. Maybe these songs were always being played in these places, but at the moment I'm much attuned to these symbols and am really noticing them.


There have been a lot of studies about symbols and how they can impact on people both positively and negatively in their lives, and this is particularly important when someone is looking to make a career change of any sort, as this period can be an incredibly challenging time for them. My advice to people looking to make significant career changes is always to surround themselves with as many positive symbols as possible - and to do their absolute best to put themselves into a positive state so they recognise them when they come up.


This might be something as simple as instead of stepping on the flower which blows into your path on the way out of the building after an interview, choosing to see that flower as something wonderful trying to get your attention and congratulating you on giving it your absolute best that day. Or - when you forget your travel-card but get waved onto the bus by the driver anyway on the way to an interview, seeing that driver as someone who supports you working towards your goals and believes in you. 


On the flip-side, this might be realising the person who you feel deep down doesn't actually support you in what you're trying to achieve isn't a positive symbol for you, and you might choose to take a step away from them whilst you focus on what you need to do to achieve your career goals. As well as looking out for the positive symbols, it's important to minimise the negative ones during your job search to keep yourself on track. 


This year, why not try choosing to believe you're seeing good things, instead of rushing past missing them, or dismissing them as insignificant - when they could actually be symbols helping you see how well you're doing, even if it doesn't always feel like it. Wishing you all lots of coin sightings in 2017. 



Sian Havard is Founder at Milkshake Group, a Brisbane, Australia based consultancy which coaches people around the world looking for awesome careers. Find us at 






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