Difficult before easy

I am again being reminded that I am in the minority when it comes to being willing to take take risks with life decisions.  I’m not talking about dangerous, life-threatening, stupid chances… I’m referring to the willingness to try new things, put yourself out there, and pursuing opportunities that may turn out to be so much more beneficial in the end.

I’m no stranger to making life-changing decisions. After receiving scholarships for engineering programs in Canada after high school, I turned them down to pursue an aviation career in the U.S. It meant I would have to stay back a year to work in a dishroom full-time, then work full-time while in school. Instead of taking the ‘financially easier’ route, I did what I had to do to follow my dream…

The result? I am happy with my decision and do not regret it. It hasn’t always been easy, but that’s not what I asked for… I wanted to be able to do something that I loved for the rest of my life. …and now I do – I get paid to fly! I get paid to fly cool people, for a company that has taken care of me and my personal life, with enough $$$ to be content.

I am happy.

After my divorce, I had a big financial decision to make… Stay in the house I was awarded, or find/create the resources I needed to move out and start a new life with the kiddos. What did I do? You guessed – I beg, borrowed, and… begged some more… and found a way to move into a bigger/better home, with a pool, in a nicer neighborhood!

The result? I am happy with my decision and do not regret it. It’s not going to be easy but, again, that is not what I asked for… I wanted to start a new life, in a new place, with the kiddos. …and now I do!

I am content.

Now, not all things work out so well. In my life, when it comes to relationships, I dive in head first… each time… every time. I don’t do it blindly, but I’ve dated enough to recognize when I’ve found someone special. I don’t believe in playing games. I’m all about sharing my thoughts, letting the other person know how I feel, and just letting thing go to see where it ends up.

The result? I’ve met some amazing women. Each of them have contributed to some simply amazing memories and I’ve become a better/stronger/wiser person because of my time with them. I have also come out with a better understanding of myself. It still hurts (sometimes tremendously) when I get my heart broken but, again, I didn’t get involved for the heartbreak. I got involved for the love… for the like… for the fun, the smiles, and the laughs. I look back and am thankful for each relationship. I believe I chose correctly each time.

I am full-filled.

I have no regrets.

So… what is it that holds the rest of us back from taking risks that could, potentially, make us happier (and better) in the long run? I propose the following:

  1. We are afraid of the unknown.
    • Not knowing where are decisions are going to lead us probably the most common reason. It’s normal to want to know how we’re going to end up if we make one decision over another. When I passed over a scholarship to pursue an entirely different, all I could do is believe I could what I needed to do, to get where I wanted to go… It’s as simple and as difficult as that.
  2. We are scared of getting hurt.
    • When it comes to relationships, I’ve seen *so* many people lose out on some extraordinary opportunities to be with some great people. If they only knew much the would lose out, they wouldn’t be so afraid. Those that I’ve seen who are more willing to take the plunge when they discover someone with a beautiful heart (myself included), it has rarely ended in regret – the Expect things firstmemories alone, are so worth it.
  3. We are concerned about failing.
    • This stems from self-belief. Period.
  4. We are unsure of ourselves.
    • When confronted with decision, you either are going to do it, or you aren’t… it really is as simple as that – the big issue is whether or not you trust yourself enough to keep going when things get rough. Will you have the wherewithall to stick it out and find it in yourself to find solutions to challenges, or will you crumble? That fear keeps so many people from accepting, or even just trying out for that new job, a promotion, a position on a team…
  5. We are afraid of change.
    • While number 1 is the most common reason, this is the biggest reason. We like to search for equilibrium. The day we become complacent with our lives, is the day when we start to lose our happiness.  When the day-to-day becomes so commonplace, we eventually reach a point where we struggle to find joy in even the smallest things. It finally comes to a point of no return, where the only thing that would bring you out of the funk would be a life changing experience.The biggest challenge, then, is that when that life changing opportunity arrives, will you (1) recognize it?, (2) be willing to go after it?, and/or (3) do what you need to do to work at it?

This, of course, brings us to these same five reasons… WorthIt

So… here’s the thought to blow your mind… if we, many times, will end up reaching that point of complacency due to the lack of taking the opportunities to have pursued happiness when they first presented themselves, why then, did you not take them in the first place and allow yourself even more years of happiness the first time through?

BAM

Now the question that remains is… Now that you know the reasons for holding back from experiencing a more full-filled life when opportunities arise, what will you do, knowing that you will be a better, happier, more fullfilled person in the end?

 

-allan

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