Of Decisions and Making Them

In one of the gatherings I’ve attended before, I heard one of the speakers say, “Go even before you are ready.”

I was in senior college during that time and and when I heard that message, it caused me to stop and think about my own life. I remember some years back when someone we knew offered me and my sister a land property for a cheap price. At that time, I thought I was in no need for that. You see, we’ve got a little land resources somewhere in the mountainous part of Mindanao in Philippines and getting another one would just be an additional stock that wasn’t really developed well because our relatives who managed it weren’t good enough with how they do it. I was younger then and felt we (I and Yaya– my sister who’s working in Australia that time) weren’t ready to own one so I declined the offer eventhough I knew that it could be a good investment.

Well, several years later, when I got married, I was looking for a good parcel of land! Just as I had felt, the property that was offered to me then was now being developed causing its selling price to appreciate considerably. And Jon and I didn’t have much financial resource to start with our lives. Ahh… it’s one of those things I regretted so much of not having done particularly.

I often ask myself, “how does one know when he/she is really ready to take the next step?” In other words, is there really a “right” time to make a move, to take on a new challenge, to grow one’s business, to start a new venture, or to propose marriage to your significant other even? Do signs really show up or do you just get a “gut” feeling just about the time you need to take the next move? I think for most of us, we get those gut feelings and often times, we’ll simply rationalize them away. We’ll come up with a number of excuses and tell ourselves how many other things have to be lined up first before we can actually take that next step in our lives.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being cautious but being overly cautious that we tend to stay inactive is another thing. For some people, they may never take that next step! Instead, they begin to sound like a broken record, telling themselves again and again how “someday” they will have what they want; yet they do all they can to avoid moving even one step forward. Now I’m beginning to see and understand why so many people never become the people they could be or wished to become. Heck, I even am one of those!

I believe that what the speaker was trying to say is that if we’re really thinking of taking the next step, then we shouldn’t wait for all things to be perfectly lined up before we actually do something. Instead, we should all try to get out there and take that next step now! Decide, and take a risk! We can and will always find reasons to put off taking the next step, or making the next move if we stop and think about it for so long.

The reality is that opportunity will only pass us by once. Jon and I agreed to love and serve this adage as our motto in life. “I shall pass this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any man, let me not defer nor neglect it but let me do it now. For I shall not pass this world again.” Nah… This is really all about kindness you know. But deciding on grabbing an opportunity once it’s there is much applicable, too. I procrastinated. I wasn’t totally “ready” to take on a raw property (at least that was how it felt then). Now, that opportunity has come and gone, and it will cost me much more if I were to buy that property now, which, by the way I won’t be able to afford already unless I become a doctor here! Hah.

Ambition! See, it’s sometimes a little daunting to make a move without really knowing what to expect on the other side, but then again, all growth happens in the unknown, right?

It’s just not our place to know what’s next. It is our place, though, to stand up and be ready for that next step, wherever it may lead us. And from all of the things I have experienced in my 24 years of existence in this world, it’s always exciting to see what happens next! What’s interesting to note is that when you do make your move, things happen! It’s simply a matter of having the guts to move forward, getting out of our comfort zones, and taking action on the things we already know will move us to where we want to be.

So, instead of fearing the unknown, let’s be curious about it. Approach it with positive expectation and be ready to be surprised, thrilled, excited, and moved! After all, life is an adventure and adventures are much better when we show up excited.

This is our life… and what we do with it is all up to us. 🙂

(By the way, the main thought of this writeup-“decisions and making them” is a winning piece of mine in an impromptu public speaking I contested back in college.) 🙂

Being a Risk Taker

Every day, I am able to spend a lot of times here at home with my daughter Triz’s milestones. I watched her carry out acrobatics while swithart and I caught up with each other’s awe. Even before this toddler of ours barely turned a year old, I can tell right off the bat that Triz is a pretty active kid. She does stunts that only someone her age can do and get away with. Then it happened one afternoon. She inevitably rolled over, landing awkwardly on her back, arms twisted, and gave out a loud cry. Naturally, I rushed to her side at once. I took her in my arms and quickly kissed her on the cheek. In just a few minutes, our little angel was sauntering around the room again. This happens all the time every day, yes. Being an energetic kid that this little girl is, everything seemed possible to happen. At least, that’s how I see her treat things around her. This kind of scene would have driven me over the edge a few years ago. But now, after handling little kids in church every Saturday in the past several years of my life, and after tending to the needs of my nieces, it takes more than the sight of a child hanging upside down above an alligator pit to make me stop her from all of his acrobat tricks.

Today, Triz’s contortions make me stop and ponder. Watching her play reminded me that an attribute shared by a lot of successful people is their willingness to take chances. Most successful people like to work, play real hard and enjoy challenging themselves. They get a particular exhilaration from trying new things, pushing themselves to the limit, and defying the odds. Their drive to achieve simply exceeds their worrying about all of the things that can go wrong.

In my life, I have gotten to meet different kinds of people. I have noticed that those who would like to make some changes, fear and risk are major reasons behind their inaction. Negative questions fly in the air, creating a negative atmosphere around them. What if things go wrong? Sometimes, we use the mere possibility of a negative outcome as an excuse to avoid making the effort in the first place. Worse, this feeling doesn’t just bother us outside. Even in our personal lives – inside our own homes – our fears get in the way of what we truly want for ourselves. For some people, even the thought of falling in love or allowing themselves to experience happiness is an issue and is being feared. Do you agree with me on this take?

Taking or not taking risks. We’ve all done it at some point. But then again, why should we allow our fears to get in the way of our dreams? There are a lot of ways to deal with fears. I am not an expert on this (I’m a struggling soul, as well), but I know and I believe that one should face or confront their fears and start taking on bigger challenges and risks. I know Triz’s dad to be as not a risk-taker as I would expect and want him to be. I am even more than he is. But having Triz around, I am gonna take chances and risks in my own way. I’m sure I can focus on the upside while still covering my backside. I expect that I’ll take some bumps and kicks along the way, but I also think I’ll be much better off than if I just sit on the sidelines. Whew!!! I can’t wait for the time! 🙂