Some we make without much thought, others we think about so much that we never decide.
Some are easy, and some are tough. Some can even be considered impossible.
Yet in all of this we must make the decisions we are faced with. That is what makes us human.
Sometimes we are forced to decisions and other times we decide the direction we would like to go.
Although forced decisions often have undesirable consequences, its the decisions of simply choosing a direction that are often the hardest to make.
“Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” -William Shakespeare
I suspect most of us simply achieve greatness by our decisions.
Not only do we get to choose how we achieve greatness in this life, we also get to define what greatness is.
For some it is as simple as living by a moral code everyday. Or doing your work to the best of your ability. Or simply making sure the needs of your family are met.
That is my Y in the road…
As I stand there I think about how it is all up to me. There is no outside influence that can truly determine my path for me. Or even help me with it. The task and burden is mine alone.
For some these thoughts don’t matter. They live their lives how the see fit and make decisions as they come. Some see no decision to be made at all. Just things to be acted upon.
I think about these things all the time. What the future holds and how I can effect it with my decisions. What course of action now will produce the best outcome?
While some of this thinking is good, taken to an extreme, it can be very unhealthy. You forget the present for the future…
You lose yourself in a world of ideas, and possibilities, and even fantasies. Things not based in reality.
Yet, our world is based on such fantasies.
” . . . I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” -Abraham Lincoln
Some of the greatest advancements of mankind have come through dreamers. Men and women who thought the present could look very different in the future. People who weren’t afraid to try…
“If we are to be really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world. We cannot avoid meeting great issues. All that we can determine for ourselves is whether we shall meet them well or ill.” -Theodore Roosevelt
And so my main crossroads has been reached in my life’s work. Do I continue with the direction I am heading in. With a certain outcome that will almost assuredly be a good living for myself and family, and will provide me with a certain amount of job satisfaction. Or do I strive for something more? To be a leader and someone who strives to unite people for the common purpose of overcoming some of the world’s most vexing problems?
This is the essence of my dilemma. Why I wrote my post on monotony last week, and why I am writing this post today.
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” -Woodrow Wilson
And so I say all that to see that my Y in the road was not really a decision at all. For me, it seems that I contrived the decision point in my head to make the complex simple. Yet, something like this can never really be a singular simple decision. It is one of those decisions you have to make everyday when you get out of bed in the morning.
“It is necessary to be slightly under employed if you are to do something significant.” – James Watson
And so on I go trying to add my little ray of sunshine to the world. I will worry less about the work I do for a living and more about the work that really changes people’s lives. Not to lessen my work any, it really does change people’s lives in a small yet tangible way. Yet, there is always more work to be done.
So in a sense my decision was already made. Just as each past Y in the road has brought me to where I am today. Each future one will simply be an unfolding of who I really am.
And thinking like that makes everything seem all right with the world…
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill