That’s the tough part, right?
Choosing the path to go down. The one you’ll stick to. Dedicate yourself to.
It’s why most people put off deciding – they fear what’s on the other side of commitment.
It’s easier to bathe in the paradox of choice, because otherwise you have to go all-in.
And that’s pretty scary.
Going against the grain’s a decision most people never make.
They pretend it doesn’t apply to them. When all’s said and done, they’re pretty happy being average.
Or so they tell themselves.
People that go against the grain – unapologetically – are the ones that capture my attention.
They have the will to make a decision and go all in.
Case in point:
I worked with a chap a few years ago who was in his early 40’s, with zero ambition to rise to the top of the organisational chart.
He was happy to manage programmes, nurture relationships with suppliers and partners, and stay in the same-ish position he was in. Probably until retirement.
Focusing at work and making plenty of time for his family were the two things he decided he was happy with.
And he received so much judgement for it.
Not to his face, of course. We can’t possibly tell him what we really think.
Behind his back, his colleagues would make comments like:
Maybe he doesn’t have what it takes.
Men should be leaders. OK, women should too, but a man isn’t a man unless he leads, no?
I can’t help but wonder what kind of man lives without ambition. What does he have to aim for?
I was pretty peeved on his behalf (<– I used to get sucked into things a lot back then).
So here’s a gent that knows exactly what he wants. And is comfortable with it.
But because he doesn’t fit into everyone else’s idea of what life at his age should look like, he’s attacked. And judged. And berated (behind his back, however. Let’s not have a conversation with him so we can understand what his motivations are).
When there’s a lot of social pressure to be a man, it takes grit to define what that means for yourself (especially in a world that’s constantly expecting you to prove you are one).
If your spouse prefers to earn and take care of finances and you (the man) prefer to be at home with the children, that’s OK.
Only this is usually something that isn’t discussed openly with friends and remains behind closed doors.
For fear of judgement. Or having to explain yourself. Or worse – defend your decision.
The decision itself: It’s tough to make.
Once it’s made, however, it’s liberating.
The consequences aren’t as bad as you anticipated. The weight’s lifted from your shoulders. You feel a renewed sense of purpose.
So … What will you decide on today?
What to do now?
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