Good morning! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.
I’ve spent the past five weeks doing something different. I won’t bore you with the details, but it’s something I’ve known for several years I needed to do. Like most others, though, it’s always easier to stick with the status quo and blame a lack of progress on fate or just bad luck. “This just wasn’t meant to happen.” Sound familiar?
But I’m learning as I get older that everything is “meant” to happen. From the moment we’re born, life presents a never-ending series of paths we can follow that lead to a predefined destination. As infants, a lot of those paths are chosen for us. But by the time we’re able to start making even the most minor decisions for ourselves, we begin to work toward some destination.
If you were on a trip and suddenly realized the setting sun was on the wrong side of the car, would you keep driving and hope that nature and celestial reality would suddenly change to match the path you’re on? Or would you stop and ask directions? Okay ladies, I asked that question just for you because everybody knows men don’t ask for directions. We just pay closer attention to the signs.
But sooner or later, you’d have to change direction or end up someplace you really didn’t want to go. And, depending how far you’ve gone in the wrong direction, you may have to take a route you’ve never followed before to get yourself headed in the right direction. It’s a little scary sometimes. The unknown always is. But you’ll see plenty of new things along the way.
According to Thomas Jefferson, to have something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done. There are a lot of truth in those words. Another way of saying that is “to go someplace you’ve never gone you must be willing to follow a path you’ve never known.” Okay, I like T.J.’s quote better. But you get the idea.
It’s our willingness to try something new that gives voice to our imagination. It’s what makes us good at our jobs. It’s what makes us fun to be around. And it’s what led us to this exact moment in life. We don’t always want to take the credit (or blame) for our current circumstances, but there’s no escaping the fact that decisions made and actions taken have shaped our destiny.
If you’re perfectly happy with where you are and have no desire to move beyond this point in life, the good news is you don’t have to change a thing. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing. But if you want to experience new things before this ride is over, you have to be willing to try something new. Even if your current direction is spot-on, moving forward means covering new ground.
For most people, one of our greatest fears is fear of the unknown. You see something interesting, or somebody suggests something a little out of the ordinary, and your imagination goes into overdrive. “Look at the possibilities! But what if it doesn’t work? If it was that easy, everybody would be doing it. There has to be a catch. But it sure would be nice …” We’ve all been there. It happens every time.
With anything new, there will always be a certain element of risk. And, let’s be honest, there are some things none of us should ever attempt. We have to assess the situation and ask ourselves a critical question – what do I stand to lose if this goes terribly wrong, and am I willing to take that risk? Sometimes, the answer is obvious. Walk away.
But more often than not, the answer is that if the worst were to happen, you’d just dust yourself off and walk away a little wiser. Or maybe you’d tweak your approach and keep working toward the same goal. Because, whether the approach is working or not, the goal never really changes. You just have to adapt and try something new.
My mom always used to ask, “Will this matter twenty years from now?” It’s a good way to handle spilled milk or a broken window. It’s also a great way to handle what may appear to be failures in working toward our goals. Because most times, the answer to Mom’s question is “Twenty years from now, this won’t make a bit of difference.”
When you can approach a new experience with that reality in mind, it’s easy to put risk in the proper perspective. And in doing that, you change the question from “What can go wrong” to “What could go right?” Will it matter twenty years from now if things go amazingly well? The only way to find out is to try something new. That one decision can lead you to destinations you never imagined.
That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!
© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved