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Number of posts : 305
Age : 68
Registration date : 2007-10-04

PostSubject: LIFE-------A LONG & WINDING PATH   Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:15 am

Life------ A Long & Winding Path

Every life is full of forks and intersections, not to mention dead ends. We may find ourselves headed the wrong way, or getting off at the wrong exit! Luckily, there are gas stations on the highway of life. Pull over, take a break, refuel, and reevaluate your trajectory across life’s dark continent. Here are just a few milestones to guide you as you examine your road map:

1. Destination: Unknown.

Did you ever drive to Disneyworld, only to find that the Magic Kingdom was closed for the day? OK, maybe not. But the point remains that we never know what we’ll find at our journey’s end; the destination we imagine in our minds may be quite different in reality, or may not exist at all. That doesn’t mean we stop pressing forward. Because, on the other hand, it may exceed our wildest expectations. Regard this uncertainty as just another element of adventure. Life would be a bore if we always knew exactly where we were headed.

This uncertainty extends to every aspect of our lives, from our jobs, to our relationships, to our personal growth. Joy is elusive, and we ourselves are often very uncertain, or misguided, about what exactly will bring us joy. We may therefore find it in very unexpected places.

2. Objects in mirror may be less certain than they appear.

They say that hindsight is 20/20. In retrospect, things appear so clear, don’t they. We pinpoint particular turns we made, at particular forks in our life, and we’re certain that they were huge mistakes. We wonder how we could have overlooked this or that factor when we took that wrong turn.

The fact is, there’s no use dwelling on what we see in our rear-view mirror, because it’s never as clear as it seems in retrospect. We base our evaluations of every crossroad on the miles we’ve traveled since then, and view it as a mistake, when in fact we have no way of knowing the mysterious directions in which our path would have subsequently forked had we taken a different turn, many miles back. Don’t dwell in the past. Push ahead.

3. Take the plunge.

Life is full of dramatic decisions, and fateful crossroads. There’s no avoiding risk, so you might as well enjoy it. Embrace that feeling of uncertainty, and make bold decisions. Be a real trailblazer, instead of sitting on your suitcase in the middle of life’s intersection. People who do that risk getting run over!

As you’re deciding (boldly!) which way to turn, here are a few pointers:

(1) Analyze your predicament.

Since when was ignorance the key to good decision-making? You can never learn too much about any given dilemma before making a decision. Lay it out on paper, if you have to, like some general analyzing a battle plan. Identify the key players, allies and enemies; consider the situation from their perspective, and ask where they might be headed, and why.

(2) Brainstorm on your next move.

Often, out of laziness, we think simplistically about a given predicament, rather than strategically. Be subtle. Brainstorm. Make a list not of two, but of at least five different options. Run through each in your mind, and ask yourself where each might lead. Like a grandmaster in chess, you have to think several moves ahead, and appreciate the dynamism of the situation.

(3)Go on instinct.

Finally, after all this analysis and rational thinking, go with your gut! Once you’ve exhausted all the possibilities, you’re likely to have an intuitive sense of which is best, without further deliberation. You can only think so much, before action is needed.

When you make your decision, do so… decisively! Trust yourself, and show determination to see out your course no matter what it leads. Go down with your ship, or lead it into an exotic port of call—whether you meet with failure or success, the experience will make you a stronger person.

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