It’s true. Our decisions determine our future. They influence our achievements, our sense of purpose, and our overall happiness. Even the seemingly small decisions that we make every day—what to have for lunch? what time to go to bed? what movie to see this weekend? post it on social media or not? —are building blocks of our future selves and ultimately of the quality of our lives.
Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly choosing to either seize an opportunity for growth or make an excuse that allows us to remain within our comfort zone. Most of us are hardwired to stick to what we know. Why risk our sense of security for something bolder and brighter when there’s a chance it might not work out?
It’s a good question. But reframe it. Instead of listing all of the things that could go wrong (i.e. making excuses to “play it safe”), dream up all of the things that could go right. The challenge then becomes justifying why we wouldn’t give up safety and predictability to take a chance. When we allow ourselves to envision all of the opportunities that exist outside of our comfort zone, the possibilities for who we can become are endless. We are the limits we create for ourselves, after
Not so sure? Does the name Bethany Hamilton ring a bell? Oscar Pistorius? How about Jason Lester? The competitive surfer, sprint runner, and endurance athlete respectively, are world-class athletes who have earned international recognition for not only excelling in their sports, but for doing so despite having suffered the loss of a limb—in Oscar Pistorius’s case, two limbs. These athletes risked privacy, humiliation, and their own comfort zone to pursue what lit a spark in them. And they did so by refusing to put limits on what could be achieved; they chose the brilliance that comes from choosing opportunity over excuses.