Why Consider The Road You’re On
Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and will help you remember some of your most interesting memories.
Have you ever stopped to analyze your more interesting memories?
When I hear my children remembering trips from the past and family moments, I sometimes marvel at how they decided to immortalize a specific moment in their mind. I also like to hear about the things only one or two of my children remember; what marked them to remember that moment that didn’t mark my other child(ren). Our memory’s selection process is quite interesting.
Something recently triggered a memory of mine and I thought it would bring you some interesting insight as well: when I was 17 years of age, I supervised a small carry-out pizza joint in Central Florida. One late weekend night, the delivery guy and I were the only ones on staff. The two ovens at 550 degrees each made the place very warm so we left the back door open. It was probably about 1:00am; the delivery guy was making a final run of the night and I was alone. Walking into the back room I saw a guy coming out of the dark into our back door. My first thought was, hey, who are you and what are you...hey, that's a gun, THAT'S A GUN! He was pointing the gun at me demanding that I give him all the money in the register.
I remember describing the moments that followed as similar to that feeling when someone scares you as you round a corner, but I was feeling that level of fear the entire time he had the gun pointed at me. Of course, I'll never forget what he said to me: "I know your name, I know where you live, I know the car you drive and I want ALL the money".
Now, here comes the internal dilemma: Our make-shift security system was to constantly remove the cash from the register and put it in our back pocket should we ever get robbed. I know, brilliant - right?
I had about $250.00 in my back pocket and $42.00 and change in the register. Thinking rationally in that moment was at a premium; "if I give him the money in my back pocket, what was the point of putting it there - it is for this very reason, a robbery, that we remove the money from the register.” So, to validate my previous choices I risked my life for $250.00.
I told him that the $42.00 was all the money I had. He took the money and ran - literally.
What pre-set rules or boundaries are you willing to die for? Despite the fact that it's best to consider our choices - in advance of the heat of the moment, it hadn't occurred to me to consider the absurdity of our security measure in the first place. Just this morning I heard an excerpt from the book Willpower written by Roy Baumeister - it was on Chris Johnsons Philosophers notes. In his book, Roy suggests we play Willpower offense, not defense. Apply Willpower to keep the cookies out of the house in the first place, not to resist eating them at the end of an exhausting day. So if we had a safe instead of my back pocket, that discipline, in advance of the deadly moment, would have been much more safe!
Translate that to your life: Is the road you’re on leading you to where you want to be? If not, why are you on it?
It could cost you your life. Consider some of the choices you are making now; are they preparing you in advance to be your best or to be your worse? Consider the road you're on and why - and know that wiser decisions on the front end will be safer decisions on the back end.
Consider analyzing the times when you have made less than optimal decisions - what choices did you make in advance of the decision that set you up for the fall? Instead of focusing on THE weakness in the heat of the moment, look at your choices in advance of the drama and see what you could change to reduce the likelihood of another fall. Consider applying more willpower proactively to be at your best reactively. Our choices in advance will largely be the Why of the choice we make in the heat of the moment.
Get on the road that will lead you most to where you want to be - knowing that sometimes, a bit more is called for than just a back pocket.
Make it a great week,
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