Imagine, right now, that you are canoeing down a river and you come to an island in the middle of that river. If you want to continue on your journey to reach your desired destination, you have to get around this island. You can go right, left or portage the canoe over the island.
What do you do?
The “bottom line” answer to that question is you CHOOSE. You might go right. You might go left. Maybe you’re getting “seasick” and decide to carry your canoe over dry land.
If you’ve never been on this river before, there’s a good chance you won’t know what to expect if you go right. You might run into whitewater. You might not. If you go left, you might paddle past an ugly and stinky manufacturing plant. You might also go past a beautiful meadow filled with flowers. If you take the dry land route, it might feel good to stretch your legs and rest in the shade of the trees. You could have lunch. On the other hand, the terrain might be hilly and rocky and you could twist your ankle. Or you could be swarmed by mosquitoes and black flies.
The point is – you don’t know. But to get to your desired destination, you do have to choose. One route is not better than the other – just different. You will have a different experience based on the choice you make. And no matter the experience (pleasant or unpleasant), you will have stories to tell about it after it’s all over.
This might seem obvious when it comes to canoeing a river, but the same principle applies to much of your life. One of the biggest causes of procrastination is our unwillingness to make a choice. It’s like we try to hold our canoe in place in the water (or throw down an anchor) because we don’t want to choose left, right or over land. We want to know exactly what will happen if we make a certain choice. We’re afraid that something “bad” will happen (e.g., we’ll hit whitewater). We think there’s a “right” choice or “better” choice and freeze up, unsure what it is. Instead of thinking of it as simply a CHOICE… and based on what we choose, we will have a different experience.
So if you’re procrastinating on moving forward in some area of your life, see if this might be the reason. Then consider all the energy it takes to keep a canoe in one place – to fight the current and not move forward. Is that really how you want to use your energy and to live your life?
Assuming not, then the solution is to make a choice. Just choose! Make the best choice you can with the information you have… but MAKE A CHOICE! And get moving again. Trust that, no matter what the experience, you will have the opportunity to learn and grow from it. Trust, too, that the “current of life” will continue to move you forward toward wherever you are meant to be… so JUST CHOOSE!
Questions? Comments? AHAs? Choices you want to celebrate? As always, I’d love to hear your response to this – AND what you experience. Just add them below!