Today, as I was driving on the freeway I saw a flat bed truck ahead with long narrow objects strapped to the platform of the truck. Decision, slow down, create plenty of space, in case something comes loose. Suddenly, another car, moved into the lane between me and the truck. Okay. Their choice. This reminded me that every moment in our life is based on a choice we made in the previous moment. Do I stay where I am, do I move right or left, slow down, squeeze into a small space. These are the possible choices to be made in this situation. Just as important are the choices we don't make.
I pitched my book, Bridging the Gap to a publisher, who requested my entire manuscript. Part of the process is submission documents. A detailed list of things about the book that ends up being about 20 pages in length. I finished my book in December and had all but the last two pages of the submission documents done in January. Then I let my head step in and tell me the documents weren't ready. I needed more information, more endorsements, better endorsements, and more. I sat there, and let my book and documents sit there. I made no decision and took no action. In reality, by not acting, I acted, or chose not to. I sat on those last 20 minutes of work for 8 months. Then, one morning in November, I woke up, Like many other mornings, thought, I should just take the 20 minutes and finish the work. This time, I consciously made a different choice. I know it takes 5 seconds for the mind to come up with a reason something won't work. This time, I did a count down, 5-4-3-2-1-go, walked to my office, opened my laptop, and typed. Twenty minutes later, I was done, attached my manuscript and submission documents to an email and hit send. One week later I had a contract with Morgan James Publishing. Wow, why did I let the internal fear delay me. This reminded me of the importance of making conscious choices moment by moment. A year later I have a book in circulation. Who would have thought?
I had the opportunity to submit an abstract, to speak at a national conference. I had to look up what an abstract was, as I had never done one. A few days ago, I received notice that my abstract was a finalist to be a speaker at the 2022 National Homeland Security Conference with my talk titled, Bridging the Gap. What an opportunity. I have two months to get everything completed for final submission. It is a one hour presentation. I can't do my normal eight hour course. Hmmmm Five days later I submitted my outline, have a rough draft of my talk, and have thought non-stop about what is needed. Is it ready to be turned in? My head says no, but I sent an inquiry and received an answer. My heart says the outline is ready, as is the talk, after a bit of practice, which I have 5 months to do. Hmmm. This is a different feeling. In the first, I felt guilty for not getting it done, over and over and over. This time, I am ready, and have time to do the fine touches. No fear, I can hardly wait.
So, when we act do we miss the target some times? Yes, but when we choose not to act we never even get the opportunity and if we are lucky, end up exactly where we are now. I say lucky as giving in to fear and not taking action, delaying, can make it easier not to choose in the future. Not choosing in life is detrimental and can set us back. What if I had not sent in my book. Soon I would have given up and not had anything. What if I had not submitted my abstract? I would not have had to do an outline. If I had not done the outline? I would not have the opportunity to talk about Bridging the Gap to a national audience.
Make choices that turn negatives into positives. I was messaged by a former spouse who wanted to complain about how she was portrayed in my book. The truth I told did not match the fiction being told for the past 7 years. Hmmmm. That could be embarrassing because now people have an alternative to choose from, and the message spurred me to do some promoting that I had neglected. This probably won't change the feelings portrayed in the message but it will sell more books. Those who are her friends will believe her, those who know me will believe me, and anyone who reads my book and doesn't know either of us won't care. I chose not to engage in an argument as nothing I could say would change her mind. That is a different choice then I have made in that past relationship. Hmmmm. Much more peaceful..
Every moment is a choice in life. The choices we make can and will shift the path we are on, sometimes negatively and sometimes positively. Even when negative, we learn. In the past I would have argued to prove I told the truth. Today, I know I am honest and truthful, and others have the right to disagree with me. I only care what they think if I am ego driven. If I come from my heart, I only care about the truth. That feels different. This truth then ripples out to others, one person at a time. That change starts with us when we are self accountable and honest with ourselves. Then we can truly be open and honest with our families. Then with our friends and fellow employees. Soon this has touched others we don't even know, and the world has changed.
My challenge to you is, look deeply and honestly within yourself, be open and honest with everyone around you. Not even "little white lies". Clear up any misunderstanding and clarify anything that is not clear to you or those around you. Communication is the key. It is your choice to make. Which way will your path take you?