Our choices tip other choices closer or further away from us. “It’s just one cookie” is a choice further from our fitness goals. “I’ll call her later” is a choice away from a business goal. “200 words on my book today is plenty” is a choice away from your publishing goal.
Your decisions do have follow on effects. Tip over one decision and it’ll knock all your dominoes off onto new patterns.
~from Decisions are Dominoes by Chris Brogan
And that got me thinking about some of the decisions I’d made in my life.
Occasionally the bad decisions will swim around in my head a bit. A memory that pops into my mind out of nowhere… a remembrance… Not regret, mind you, because I believe “mistakes” aren’t mistakes, but rather learning experiences. More of a reminder of the lesson learned.
When these show up, I acknowledge the feeling and try to let it go.
The good ones, looking back, didn't feel good at the time. They felt very scary. Total oh shit moments.
Little did I know that I should or would learn to come to embrace those moments.
So, thinking about the domino effect of my decisions I am forced to ask myself all sorts of questions.
I remember going away to Ohio to go to college. My senior high school class had basically split into thirds between Clemson, Carolina and the College of Charleston. I knew that if I made the same choice that it would be easy and comfortable for me to do the same things with the same people. I was ready for something different, so I choose to go out of state.
I was scared. I remember arriving on campus and not knowing a soul.
What if I'd been too afraid to take that leap?
What other challenges would I be too afraid to take on?
What opportunities would I miss?
I spent my junior year in Italy. What if I'd never gone abroad?
Would I still have my love of and passion for traveling?
Would I be spoiled and jaded never having experienced firsthand what living in another culture is like?
If I hadn't gone to Ohio, I might not have been presented with the opportunity to go to Italy.
I remember my mothering telling me about her experience at UPW a Tony Robbins seminar and my decision to go. That was the catalyst for a series of events that would forever change my life. Being in that environment has had me across the country several times a year, twice to Fiji and most recently Australia. I think about the people along the way that I wouldn't have met. All those irreplaceable characters. It even led me to meet the man in my life. And would you believe we met at a Robbins event - in Fiji - ten years ago?
It's amazing to me how "the game" has played out (is still playing) and how every little thing... every little twist and turn... every single domino has led me right to this perfect moment.
I can only speak for myself, but writing this piece... taking a moment to reflect back over the decisions and choices I've made in my life - good and bad - and appreciating ALL of the events that have lead me to where I am today... makes me feel incredibly grateful.
So, I'm curious...
What little decision have you made that have created big waves?
What big decision have you made that have forever shaped your life?
Please share in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading...
And as Jack Johnson sings... "Don't let your dreams be dreams".
by the way... If you like the way Chris Brogan writes, check out the book he co-wrote with Julien Smith "Trust Agents" about online marketing and how to tap into the power of social networks to build your brand.