Every day life places plenty of options before us. For some of us it begins with whether or not to push the snooze button on the alarm. Do we go to the gym and do our workout now or later? Will I spend my commute listening to the latest hits or listening to an educational podcast? It goes on from there. There are always plenty of options and choices for us to make every day, from what we choose to do, our attitude for the day and the perspective we can take towards it. But how do I know that I am choosing the right option?
The simple truth is that we don’t know; we make a choice and move forward because we will never know what might have happened if we had chosen ‘the other thing’. Perhaps instead of getting up the morning I do press the snooze and end up late for work, the start of a pattern or the end of the job. Or perhaps, even though we do press it, that last ten minutes of dream gives us the answer to a question that we’ve been looking for. There’s no way of knowing. So, if there’s no right answer, what do I do?
Choose the most challenging option!
I have discovered that the best thing to do when faced with options is to choose the most challenging one. Over and over life has taught me that I learn and gain the most from the more difficult options available to me. When faced with a choice between a warm bed or a sweaty gym, it’s easy to know which I really need to do this morning. The hard one, the challenging one, the one that will help me to grow. For me, I don’t or rarely remember my dreams, so the next ten minutes of shut-eye won’t help me to invent the next sewing machine.
I have learned that if I feel challenged, if I feel some trepidation, or if I feel out of my league, that’s usually where I really need to go. Life is easy inside my comfort zone of keeping everything the same and not upsetting the schedule that I have made for myself. However, the ‘fun’ part of life, the times that I know that I am really living, are when I push myself to do that ‘hardest’ thing. It’s the difference between a life well lived and enjoying the adventure of it all. It doesn’t mean that I should run out and skydive or quit my job and join the circus. Facing a challenge, trying new things, putting myself in uncomfortable situation are what makes life more livable and enjoyable. Life really does happen outside my comfort zone.
“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” John. F. Kennedy
And if the truth be told, I usually know in my ‘gut’ what I should do. I don’t always do it, but I pretty much always ‘know’. And the result of doing that which is hard? There isn’t always a clear winner, but for the most part, even if I fail, at first, I am winning because I rose to the challenge, I faced my fear, I learned something new. That, for me, is what life is all about. The moon or Mars or even the gym may not be in my future, but I can still do things that will challenge and mold me into a better version of the guy who didn’t push the snooze button.