Crossroad or Dead End

Indecision. Hesitation. Have you ever wondered what happens during the time that expires while you wait to act, to decide? Do the conditions change or the options lessen?

I am a big believer in the magic of a crossroad, the ones we encounter on an almost daily basis. A crossroad is a moment in time tied to a location where it’s impact can totally alter your path and the direction of your life. How do I know? I know because I experienced my moment over 38 years ago. Its existence is obvious to me now but was just a blip in time when it happened. At that moment, in real time, I had no idea that my actions would change everything.

Most people, in fact, almost all people side step or climb over their crossroad, not just once but many, many times. We negotiate them away, make excuses that delay our action. “I don’t have time today. My plate is full.” Or, “Maybe next week or next month or next year when life gets easier.” The funny thing about life is that it probably will never get any easier and the same excuse will surface again and again. Here is the absolute truth, your crossroad will become a dead end unless you act, unless you step out on nothing more that faith, a knowledge that your action is required with no proof, just a mysterious sense that “I need to do this!”

Opportunity does knock, just not on locked doors and closed hearts. Let’s say you get a job offer from a company you have been following for a while and applied to often. It’s exactly the job you crave, but you are dismayed to find out the location is in Birmingham, Alabama. You know nothing about the city nor know anyone that has ever been there. You only have 24 hours to make a decision. The prospect or leaving family and friends causes you extreme angst. The fear of moving to a strange land causes you to pause, just long enough to let the opportunity drift away to another applicant. What you didn’t know, couldn’t know by your choice, was that the manager of the Birmingham office is solidly connected within the company and has moved several qualified candidates though the company to the office of their choice, including your home town. In fact, the last three big promotions went to candidates that got their starts in Alabama.

While it’s true my crossroads occurred 38 years ago, I didn’t recognize it as such until seven or eight years ago. The vision of a crossroad doesn’t always come clear until many years later, until you can recognize its impact on your life.

Yes, one of the main rules in life is “belief without action guarantees defeat.” What brought my crossroad into reality was my decision to act on my opportunity, to step out and reach up above my station, beyond my plan, beyond my comfort level. I can’t even imagine what my life would have been had I not acted.

What about you? Unlock your door, open your heart, imagine all the possibilities that adorn your life’s path and when the gateway to your future swings wide open, run, don’t walk to your destiny. Like lightening, this chance may not strike twice.

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