Decision making is hard. Let me rephrase that…GOOD decision making is hard. It comes with inherent risk. What if I make the “wrong” choice? This is playing out in our household right now as we attempt to help our kids understand they will inevitably make both good and bad decisions. Getting them to embrace the bad ones is a challenge. Two things are important to remember when it comes to making decisions:
1. Making good (i.e., productive) decisions takes LOTS and LOTS of practice; and
2. “Practice” means the certainty of “failure” (or at the very least imperfection) from time to time.
The imperfection thing is a hard pill to swallow for them. They want it done and then move on….wouldn’t we all?! They’re also not that thrilled with trying to glean all the great benefits that come from those necessary mistakes.
Quite a while back this little gem appeared in my email inbox. It hit me like a ton of bricks then and, running across it again, it hit me just as hard.
Once we start to view our lives as epic quests we can play, slay dragons, rescue princesses and cross bridges that seem impossible to cross. We don't get to turn the pages back, but we do get to choose where the adventure might take us…We believe that grandiosity will give us the adventure we're seeking. But it's only by viewing the entirety of life, including the mundane moments like taking showers, and sitting in traffic, as part of our quest, we get to choose our own adventure. . Srinivas Rao, the unmistakable genius behind the Unmistakable Creative
At first I was inspired. Slay those dragons!! Cross those bridges!! Conquer undiscovered territory!! Then came the pressure. What if I can’t? What if I fail? What if I just want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed? I immediately empathized with my kids.
In a world that measures us solely by achievement, failure feels too big a risk. I’ll just curl up right here in my comfort zone, hang a few pictures on the wall, put in a couch or two and just stay here the rest of my life.
The problem with comfort zones is they have walls. Walls that are made to either keep things out or keep things in. Either way, there’s no growth in your comfort zone. It is impossible to live your best life without growing. If we think of success only in terms of achievements, growth HURTS.
If we can shift our reality, shift our thoughts, beliefs, and mindset, our lives are truly epic quests. It doesn’t always feel like we have many choices but we, in fact, do. Take a step back. Breath. Put on a different pair of goggles and see that the sludge you may be slogging through is part of the adventure as long as we understand it’s not where we have to stay. As long as we see life as a series of adventures – epic quests – from which we will learn epic insights, we are free to fail and free to fly. It’s our choice.
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