Change is a constant of the universe. Change will happen whether you like it or not. You have control over it, but only if you take action. Sitting back and waiting, or choosing not to decide, these will only let chance decide in your stead, and you may prefer your own choices to those left to fate.
A quote from Silvia Plath says it very well:
“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
–Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
We all have a thousand paths ahead of us that we can take at any time. We are masters of our own fate, steering the ship of our experience. As long as we move forward, we can always choose our direction. But if we stay still, stagnant, unmoving, unwilling to compromise the life we have for the life we want, we can lose out on some amazing paths. The worst part is that unless we keep moving forward, we may never see the amazing experiences that lie ahead.
It would be great if we could see the options we have down the road. If we could know that we personally would become rich and famous in a year if we started blogging (I’m hopeful), who wouldn’t start right away? But we can’t know. Instead we have to jump into the unknown and trust that even if it doesn’t work out, we made the best choice at the time.
You will fail along the way. It will be hard, and you’ll feel like you made a poor choice. This is inevitable. It is a common human experience shared by all. But how we handle it is variable. you can choose to let it hold you back from ever making a tough choice again, or you can use it to learn a lesson, find the tiny gem in a field of rocks, and keep going.
All of this points to one sure fire way to succeed:
You have to drive change and embrace failure.
This is the secret to all success. Driving change will help you open doors, and learning from failure will help you choose the right door. If you do it enough, you’ll choose the right door more often than not, and then you’ll truly be unstoppable.