Strategic Choice - Win, Lose, Or Stay Mediocre?

Saleem Rana

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"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat, " said Theodore Roosevelt.

The days of our lives, it appears, is all about choices. These choices determine our destiny and the quality of our lives. They may be small choices or large choices, but each one moves our lives forward, molding us to be less or more of ourselves. Thus, a choice, the opportunity to make a decision, is always a strategic choice because they determine our life transitions.

Caught up in an information society, it may seem that we can make the best and most informed choices, to determine our success in the world, but confusion, not clarity, appears to be the norm.

When we choose, we preclude other choices. You can enter one door or the other, but you can't enter both at the same time, and each door leads to a separate adventure, and you will not be able to return to the starting point again. Sometimes it appears that we can make no choice and stay in a safe place, but this too is a choice, a choice to stay stuck where we are right now.

Since choice precludes other choices, it is always a risk. You lose the possibility of other choices not made. Also, the choice you make may not bring you the consequences that you really desired.

And just as we may lose with a choice, we also may win. This, too, can be unsettling. When you win, it transforms you. New choices, responsibilities, and consequences now arise. It will be extremely difficult to hold on to the old ways of doing things. The tabloids are full of celebrities who are completely overwhelmed by their success and actively work to sabotage it.

Why do we fear success? It is because we fear power, our personal power. Recognizing your own power means you have to give up thinking that things out there are running your life. You have to take responsibility for everything, including the bad things. The culturally conditioned belief that something out there is running what is happening within you has to be given up.

When you make choices, then, interesting things happen.

When we choose, we risk losing. On the other hand, if we don't make a choice, then we will have certainly lost.

When we choose, we risk winning. These consequences then activate your inner thermostat that wants everything to be the same. You threaten your comfort zone because you are now in a new, uncharted place. It is this that makes people feel overwhelmed by success and actively try to reverse it.

While winning may not offer you everything that you need, what else is there? When an actor becomes famous, he may not be able to go shopping without being mobbed by curious onlookers. When someone becomes rich, they may have to spend a lot of their time just managing their business and finances. Winning, then, means certain pleasures, certain familiar and comfortable things, may be lost. Your social choices will not be the same as before success happened.

On the other hand, losing is infinitely worse. Losing is about negativity, scarcity, lack of all kinds, and frustrating limitations.

Finally, there is a place where you neither win nor lose, but nothing makes much sense or is worth pursuing. There is an emptiness in this place, and later, when you look back at it, a deep sense of regret.

Your ultimate choice, then, is whether to win and change things, or lose and feel the sting of scarcity, or stay in that gray zone where nothing much happens. All your other choices, whether small or large, lead up to one of those three outcomes.

Saleem Rana would love to share his inspiring ideas with you. Hunting everywhere for a life worth living? Discover the life of your dreams. His book Never Ever Give Up tells you how. It is offered at no cost as a way to help YOU succeed. Copyright 2004 Saleem Rana. Please feel free to pass this article on to your friends, or use it in your ezine or newsletter. It's a shareware article.


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