Staring At The Cross Roads... What Do You Do?
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis
Many years ago, somebody came up to me and asked me what I did for a living, and I answered truthfully: “I’m in a rock band.” She thought it was cool, but I went into a rant about why it wasn’t.
“Creative work is definitely more perspiration than inspiration. The constant travelling and playing late night gigs is exhausting. The ‘business’ side of ‘music business’ is a joke,” I fumed.
On and on I went. As you’d expect, she was pretty shocked. But it was her words to me that made me stop in my tracks: “Wow, what happened to that dream!”
We all face obstacles in pursuing our goals, whether they’re professional or personal.
We think we’re on the right track but realize we’ve chosen the wrong approach. We’re enthusiastic and hard-working, but our support system disintegrates when we need them the most. We’re just about to make significant progress when we run out of time or funding.
Tenacious as we may be, we all have our breaking points—that moment when the potential rewards stop justifying the effort. Usually, that’s the hump that separates your best shot and your best reality.
It’s a tough road ahead when you get sidetracked and things start fading out and your goals seemed to have gone on the wayside, because your vision of what you are trying to achieve is not what is important to everyone you are trying to help or get help for. Sometimes your voice just isn’t being heard or listened to. So what do you do? Do you just give up and throw in the towel, or do you just put your head down and go for it!
So here you are at the crossroads. What do you do? Where do you go?
Life's crossroads create opportunity for us to choose between different options, and when we see someone embracing the moment when choices are decided upon, it can be awe-inspiring. A crossroads is about change. Choices must be made -- not just when things are not working out as we had planned, but also during positive moments when we must choose to continue the course or veer off into something new. When we experience an ending in a marriage, a change in careers, political upheavals, the end of childrearing, or challenges with our health, the crossroads we find ourselves facing can either inspire us to choose differently, or during these moments of change we can paralyze ourselves with fear.
Making a crossroads a moment of profound and lasting change and learning how to thrive when life's changes descend upon us can be learned.
Here are some key’s to weathering life's crossroads:
1. Just don’t settle for normal. When our habitual response leads us to what is expected and customary -- when we choose ordinary -- we can expect the unremarkable.
2. Please do not resist. Attempting to control, manipulate or force things to happen is a typical response to the fear that comes with change. Some of us will be so fearful that we refuse to make a change without understanding that even if we choose not to make a decision or take action, this in and of itself is a choice. Our learned way of coping with stress and uncertainty should be reevaluated constantly as we evolve in this world. Move with the changes instead of against them.
3. Do Yourself a Favor and Trust your deepest feelings for guidance. We all know, deep within ourselves, what we need to do -- what we know, how to think, when to trust -- during times of crisis. We can learn to access and trust our innate wisdom; it is personal and always available. Through this, we will know how to adjust our course, move toward our personal destiny. When we don't follow our inner guidance, we feel a loss of power and energy.
4. Take a Chance and Dream bigger. Change what you expect from life and then create a plan and work to cultivate the right conditions for your growth and success.
5. Try to Limit the distractions and strive to create balance in the midst of chaos. When we let go of our own or other's agendas and when we push away the demanding concerns of the moment, we are able to hear our own thoughts. Do less at the moments of crossroads and give yourself the gift of time -- time to be in the present moment. Respect the value of being here and now. Ask yourself, "What is the one area of my life that needs more balance?"
6. Failure is not an option…just another way to start again. When we face a crossroads with fearlessness and the choice turns out to be prosperous, we are hailed as a genius or visionary. When our choice creates failure, then we are judged harshly, ridiculed and diminished, and it has the potential to make being fearless more difficult when we face the next crossroads. We must remember that failing creates not only additional opportunities for success, but fosters courage and determination in those of us who are brave enough to attempt it.
When I'm faced with fear at life's inevitable crossroads, I have learned to "let it rip" and charge "no holds barred" into the abyss -- if for no other reason than to see what is there. I have emerged out the other side bloody and battered at times, but I'm stronger for having risked, taken a stand, trusted and believed.
Thanks for stopping by… Luke D