Monday, November 23, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure

Remember those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? At every crossroads you had to choose Option A or Option B which would lead you to a different part of the book and down a different path. I loved those books! Even if I didn't choose the most exciting option, every adventure was meaningful and taught me something. I wish I had that kind of fearless abandon in real life!

As adults we are faced with major decisions that we agonize over in fear of making the wrong choice. We want to go this way, but we are afraid of what people will think. "What is she thinking? She's going to ruin her life!" And what will people say if we fail??? Surely the combination of failure and the criticism that comes with it will count us out for good! We are taught to believe that things should line up a certain way in our lives, and if they don't, we must be doing something wrong. We don't want anyone to know when we are struggling and that we don't have all the answers. God forbid we stumble, fall down and actually get banged up! Someone might find out that we're not perfect! These unrealistic guidelines often paralyze us into inaction.

Lest I be judged, lest I be labeled, lest I be written off - I better just play it safe.

Perhaps our choices are meant to be imperfect. Do we really think that any worthwhile endeavor will be risk-free? That we can please everyone? That we can avoid challenges and stay in a cozy, comfort zone for our whole lives? Well, I certainly used to think that. I thought that once I got it together (whatever that means), I'd be immune to unsexy things like bad days and bad decisions, everything would always go my way with minimal effort on my part, and that my life would be photoshop perfect. Isn't that how it works?

Negative. We can have our best laid plans, but life throws curveballs, doesn't it? Well, I believe that what we may think is bad, is usually a blessing in disguise. Self-discovery is always an unpredictable factor in our development. We can never know when we will discover something about ourselves that makes us reconsider the choices we've made and the way we think about things. Sometimes we think we are sitting pretty, heading due north on cruise control and just like that we hit a detour and we find ourselves on an unpaved road, almost out of gas with no rest stop for miles.

Am I preaching to the choir here?

I came across the Christine Kane's blog recently (which is full of down-to-earth, inspirational treasures), and I have found so many goodies there.

The following excerpt really comforted me and reminded me that I can fall down, change my mind, do something different and follow an unexpected path and still be successful. My imperfect, often clumsy actions can lead me into my own personal, free-lovin, God-trustin perfection.

Check it out:

The trick to success, especially when you’re trying something new, is taking imperfect action. Here’s exactly three reasons why:

1 – Taking Imperfect Action, teaches you about abundance.

The people who get stuck in the “wait til it’s perfect” trap believe there’s one and only one chance to “make it.” Taking imperfect action says, “There’s always more chances!” And there are!

2 – When you take Imperfect Action, you’re discovering yourself, not waiting to be discovered.

So many people are waiting to be discovered, approved of, noted, validated – always by someone “more important” than they are. Taking imperfect action makes you discover yourself. Once you realize that being unstoppable is simply about taking the next step, then you have absolutely no need to be discovered. Any validation that comes is like icing on the cake.

3 – When you take imperfect action, you learn that there’s no such thing as failure.

If you do something imperfectly, and you “fail,” then the lesson is to try again imperfectly. See how liberating this is? If you like to tell people or yourself that you tried and failed, then it’s time to take imperfect action again!


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