It occurs to me that I’m an expert at finding reasons to put off things I know I should be doing. Especially this time of year. Diet and exercise goals are held off until after Thanksgiving. Then when I realize Christmas is so soon “I might as well wait until after.” Of course once Christmas is down there’s all the leftovers that can’t just be allowed to spoil, so maybe I’ll wait until after New Years.
Living day to day is a term we often apply to changing or controlling our behavior. In many ways it’s very comfortable to imagine starting over each and every day, forgetting troubles from days before, and living oblivious of imminent troubles surely to come in the future.
It feels much more manageable to keep our behavior in line for one particular day than to imagine going without for, say, a year or a lifetime. This may contribute to the failure of New Year’s resolutions.
On the other hand, living moment to moment seems agonizing. Unlike deciding we will go without a cigarette or avoid drinking for a particular day, then reassess our choices tomorrow, making that decision over and over every few minutes feels like a doomed strategy. We know we are bound to let our cravings get the better of us or just simply grow too fatigued to battle anymore.
In my early twenties I recognized that those that were highly independent were also highly responsible. I decided that in order for one to be truly independent they must be significantly responsible. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that responsibility isn’t merely necessary for independence, but independence itself is simply a high level of responsibility. Just as you rise through the ranks of a specific source of employment, picking up more and more responsibility as you go, ultimately the absolute top leaves you independent of other management within the company. It also carries the entirety of the responsibility for the company and all its actions and decisions.
We often remind ourselves about the dangers of making bad decisions. Worse is the potential to hold onto a situation that has given us every reason to believe it’s going to end horribly. This serves as a self-defense that ultimately makes us think twice about certain life decisions. I’m sure just about everyone can look back on something, or several things, they regret and wonder why they didn’t pull out earlier. Why they ignored red flag after red flag and just kept charging down a road they knew would lead to the cliff’s edge.
That scenario is common. However, a scenario that doesn’t get enough attention is the road checkered in red flags that ended in success. If you think about it, everyone that is truly world class had plenty of notable moments where they did, or reasonably should have, questioned if they were doing the right/smart thing. If they were going the right direction.
Many times the real achievements that we can be proud of gave us plenty of opportunity to quit. But we were too stubborn. We believed in the desired outcome so blindly that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes it’s smart to fold up the cards and walk away from the table. But sometimes the only way to get where you really need to be is to play through no matter what.
To Spite Letting Go
written by Coty Davis