Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Crossroads to Better Places

A crossroad is a decision point… a decision point is an opportunity to make a change… which in turn, is a chance to improve things… and ‘improving things’ is a humanity mission statement… Not true?

So, if this is basically true, why are we all so afraid of crossroads? So scared that when we reach one, we only want to be past it, even at the cost of making a wrong decision… Apparently, people feel much safer when their destiny is not in their hands. There is a good feeling in driving between two concrete walls that take you somewhere… not-sure-where… doesn’t- matter-where…….

What is a Crossroad

... A crossroad is usually a state of mind – a result of your decision that a change is a smart move and the timing is right. Unlike driving on the highway, a crossroad in real life is custom made; you just need to ask for one and it’s there…. Only thing… if you are not sensitive enough to get yourself to the right state of mind in time, you will either- (the better option) - hit a wall one day, or in the worst case, just drift into a very long side road that leads, at best, to an ok destination… which may be perfectly fine for some of us, all depending on our “life hunger”.

A serial entrepreneur, that I respect a lot, told me once that he was really upset with his previous investors, because they did not stop funding him when they should have, and it caused him to waste 3 irreplaceable years of his life. This is a good example of how both sides were not strong enough to create a crossroad. They preferred to put in even more money, time, and most importantly, opportunity cost (the cost of not being able to do other things because you are busy doing this) for the ‘luxury’ of postponing the inevitable. I guess it was convenient not to call the change, because together with the blessed change, comes also the fear of uncertainty (for him) and the admittance of failure (for both)…

The Chosen Ones…

So rare are those among us that reach the realization that they are actually in a crossroad without the urge to fight it, ignore it or delay it. Quite the contrary, they say to themselves “Hey, I have just reached a place where major roads cross each other…I can choose to continue straight ahead, but I can also choose to continue left-ahead or right-ahead.. OR EVEN BACK-AHEAD.... This place is a gift, a place where time stops for me… Now let’s sit down and relax.... Have a couple of drinks... Enjoy the moment (and make sure it lasts more than just a moment)!...weigh the opportunities and make good decisions” (and going straight ahead just because of the inertia is NOT considered one).

The Rest of Us..

Someone told me once “I have made my choices... and I’m not changing them”... Well, this is one way to look at it… the well known “I’m-satisfied-with-where-I-am-because-this-is-where-I-am-STUCK” approach…. And let me add to this line of thinking – “and I’m willing to eat a considerable amount of shit and still make myself believe things are perfect … because the alternative is to look for the next crossroad, or, God forbid, to create a crossroad OF MY OWN...” And my answer to that person would be –“ would you have made the same exact decision again now without any hesitations? Or would you like to sleep on it for a day or two, if you only could…

One Question to Ask

The big question that we should never stop asking ourselves, on a constant basis, is:

Is the future fixed for us…unchangeable and tied to decisions we have made a long time ago when our mind and other parts of our body were busy in more important stuff??

Let’s be blunt, we have made the most crucial decisions that are going to have a major impact on our lives when we were extremely young, absolutely inexperienced, very naive, and had no clue what it means to be what we decided we want to be, where we want do it, and with who..….. and I’m talking major decisions like - what we are going to do over the next 40 years; or choosing our partners in business; or who we wish to live with for the next three-quarters of a century...

Now tell me, is it 15%, 10% or less? ...I mean, the chances that we have made the best and most optimal decision for us when we took the first step toward a certain direction and since then never looked back?

It took me 10 seconds to decide I want to study law (knowing that I do not wish to actually practice law) and 10 years to get the hell out of there… and I was planning this crossroad that will take me elsewhere for 6.5 years (in my 3.5 years in University I can’t recall thinking much….) I feel that I am very lucky, and relative to the rest of us, also quite fast….

The way I see it, the decision to go straight ahead – stay the course – can’t be put in automatic mode, simply because the consequences of making a wrong-straight-ahead-decision are just as dramatic as a wrong-left/right-decision and the likelihood of falling asleep while walking straight ahead are by far, higher!!. The only way to make the straight-ahead-decision correct, is TO MAKE THAT DECISION.

For me, there is only one decision maker, my intuition. And this intuition of mine has very few, very basic activation rules:

1. Work with your intuition; put fear behind.

2. Intuition is the bottom line of our entire experience until today – we must learn to trust it.

3. Fear is the substitute of the intuition that we still haven’t gained… and the one that we will never gain if we allow fear to get in our way…

4. The best way to optimize our intuition is to use it, to do, to act, to make decisions and to learn from good moves as well as from bad ones

To do’ means also to decide not to take any action. ‘Not taking any action’ just because fear stops us from doing something our intuition tells us is right, means not to live right……..

1 comment:

Minerva said...

In the Israeli air force (and maybe in some other places as well… ) they use the term ‘when there is a doubt… there is no doubt!’
This works for crossroads in life as well…
People must have some doubts in such crossroads but prefer to let routine, convenience and maybe some more other things to lead their way in life. Well… ‘There is no doubt!’. Taking the best decision you can under the current assumptions is better than not taking a decision at all…as long as you can change you mind once you know more.
As a woman I delegate this right to man as well.. you may change your mind. Make a decision!