Tough decisions are so easy to talk about and discuss and contemplate as we roll them through our own minds and our silent hope is that we might never have to actually make those tough decisions because we’re afraid of what those decisions might mean.
But it’s so easy to talk about them that we go as far as romanticizing them as if we secretly hope that we will in fact be made to choose so that we might be seen as a victor, one who made the tough decision and survived.
Biographies and stories of some of our most beloved heroes will narrate and guide us through those challenging times and “do them up” to a place where it seems almost Hollywood. Naturally, it feels sexy, has appeal, and we blissfully think that we too could do it and make the same decision and come out on the other end a better person and perhaps even a little bit more successful.
But the reality is that the tough decisions that you and I face are nothing like the stories that we read because our circumstances are our own and no one elses. There’s real fear surrounding them, anxiety, and true desperation as we often times find ourselves without much of a choice making it less of an actual decision in the first place.
We hate them as it’s a far cry from the “tales of victory” that we read about and the stories that we hear because we already know the ending – they came out fine, “on top,” and it became, now via retrospect, a pivotal moment of glorious perseverance and decision making.
But we’re not there; we are most certainly here, in the now, and facing down our giants with little clarity, a seemingly-infinite laundry list of needs, and sticks and stones for weapons of engagement when we really need a nuclear weapon. The decisions that we face seem anything but surmountable – they feel insurmountable and the odds do not appear to be in our favor.
I feel like I’ve had a lot of those challenges this year with not enough so-called victories to be found. My greater problem is not my at-bat ratio but rather my desire to that romantic, Hollywood-esque narrative without all the challenges that make a great story true. I want to be a “success” and not have to deal with the challenges that actually make up the formula for success to happen. I’d like to walk down Easy Street and tell others to do the same.
It’s easier said than done. I do not wish hardship on anyone but I do believe that greater stories would be told if we allowed ourselves to dream a bit bigger and to risk a bit more than we typically allow ourselves to entertain.
You and I are not getting any younger and we have more opportunity to lose every single day that passes us by. I want to make the few years that I have left count for something significant. It’s easy to say (and to write about) but it’s time to put ourselves in harm’s way.
Our superficial goals to create “comfortable” and easy-going lives are antithesis to creating real and lasting value for ourselves and our future generations. Let’s be just as good as doing the tough things as we are talking about them.