Sometimes we get what we want because we ask for it.
More often we get something different than what we asked for – the question then becomes, whether or not we are happy with the result?
People who lose elections, lose their jobs, or who lose out on an opportunity might whine, complain, or take retaliatory actions. Sometimes I think that way, react that way, or move forward that way. The longer we live (in my case, at least), the list of those experiences grows. And grows – like an expanding portfolio, not by design but as a result of actions and reactions.
What I learned the other day is that the predictability of human actions, responses, and reactions to the reactions – does not follow a logical path. Indeed, it follows an emotional trajectory. Knee-jerk reactions aside, people paint themselves into position and then feel restricted by that.
I had one of those.
Until that moment when I realized there was nobody painting, and I wasn’t in a corner.
I made some decisions I will not regret …
This might read like an incomplete description, which in part it is. The message, the lesson, is not contained in the lapse of judgment and the mistake made, but rather the moving forward from that place in time, in new ways of self-exploration and self-expression.
Groucho Marx once said, “I don't want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”
I’ve always liked Groucho’s wit, but only recently have I witnessed the wisdom in his words.
And I never expected to use those words myself. But here I am, exiting a group because their conditions were not reasonable. There are people within a group who are happy to have exercised their muscles – but they didn’t get what they wanted. I got what I wanted.
Change comes slowly.
Very slowly. Or it slaps us in the face.
I’ve had one of those moments recently about something I should have made changes in a long time ago. Then, in 10 seconds, everything changed. Not ‘in that moment,’ but from that moment.
From that moment onward, changes were triggered. I changed. My relationships with some people changed – and I wish I could say it was 10 seconds of brilliance, but it was not. It was 10 seconds of stupid. Pure unadulterated stupidity. Can I recover from that?
Oh sure, the recovery comes from realizing that mistake, admitting that mistake, and moving on with learning, with self-correcting … etc.
What happened, however, was the actions of a precious few – and I will call them precious because they were a catalyst that began a process that failed to achieve their objective, but rather, set me on a path to a new one.
I could hardly be more grateful than I am for that.
Everything that is not a continent or an ocean has been made by someone. Rules, interpretation of rules, language, and actions/reactions arising from differences of opinion are not laid in stone – they are made by humans. They are made by decisions. They are made of something far more fluid than right or wrong, they are made of opinions, vantage points, personalities, and emotions.
I make decisions – sometimes painfully slow in deliberation and consideration of facts.
Sometimes, I make decisions swiftly – with due consideration of facts and discourse, but I know they are rooted in emotion. Sometimes emotional decisions are unwise, but they are always the right ones.
Ask around your life – ask people about jobs they quit, relationships they walked away from, or deals the exploded; many will offer regrets and the wisdom of hindsight, but in my experience, they hardly ever regret the decision or its emotionality, they regret they didn’t make their exit sooner.
We can pull off that bandaid, we can gradually pull back the tape – or we can rip it off in the moment, swiftly, decisively, and perhaps joyously. Not logically, but because we have to, not to survive, but to thrive.
Thrive on my friends, do more, decide more, and feel more – while hesitating less.