A pilot was practicing high speed maneuvers in a jet fighter when she decided to change direction and fly straight up. When she pulled back on the stick, she flew directly into the ground. She was unaware that she had been flying upside down.
Choices are curious–they always equal consequences.
They are amoral. It doesn’t matter how sincere one is about their choice, there is such a thing as being sincerely right and sincerely wrong.
The pilot thought she was upright, but in reality, she was flying upside down and no amount of sincerity in her belief could change the outcome.
Wow! HEAVY stuff!
“Lighten up!” I can hear you say.
Okay, an airline that chooses poor coffee when they originate from a country with excellent coffee is a BAD choice! (Can I get an “Amen”?!?) Especially when served up on some poor sap hoping for the good stuff only to be plunged from the heights of anticipation onto the rocks of reality.
So not every choice is a life-or-death consequence–but every choice sets up a trajectory towards a series of consequences whether intended or unintended. AND just because you’re aimed at a desired consequence, (i.e., good health, a better job, higher pay, a spouse) DOES NOT MEAN you won’t have disappointing unintended consequences along the way!
If you have had some choices blow up in your face–welcome to reality! Even if your intentions are good, your trajectory is on course, not everyone else is onboard with your trajectory!
Honestly, sometimes your trajectory may interfere with mine and we may have conflict. You may be having a leisurely drive to work because you got up on time and prepared for the commute, while I may have overslept and have a flight to catch. Your slow driving could produce an unintended set of poor consequences in my life–even if both of our intentions are good and on target.
So, let’s get one thing clear: conflict is to be expected.
You just had a thought in your head when you read that. Your thought has predicated your next choice most of your life. If you thought:
“Awesome! Bring it on!” You generally see life as a game to be played and conflict as a battle to be won. You’ll likely be one of the ones who will give me the finger as I weave in and out of traffic on the way to the airport. You’d dislike the coffee, but you’d drink it and move on.
“Wow! This ought to be fun!”You probably see life as a game to enjoy. You don’t hardly see conflict as being aimed at you because you’re busy enjoying the ride–you laughed at my weaving. You stop the flight attendant and ask for a Coke and don’t even see her “I’m SO done with you” look.
“What will be my response?” You probably see life as a project to be ordered, classified and categorized. You’d see me coming in traffic and immediately calculate the safest action to take to avoid my erratic driving. You’d have ordered enough sugar and creamer to disguise the awful instant coffee–and have ordered a water as well just in case.
“Crap! Conflict! I HATE conflict!” You probably see life as a place that needs peace. You’d pull over for me and make some remark about my behavior but you’d give me the benefit of the doubt: “Maybe he’s late for a flight.” You’d NEVER ask the attendant for something different and would drink the dang, crappy coffee without a complaint.
Okay, so I’ve way oversimplified the responses–I get that. However, I believe you found yourself either in, or in-between a couple of those responses.
The choices you are inclined to make dictate the trajectory you’re on.
That trajectory aims you at a destination in your relationships, your spirituality, your education, your business–your life’s story.
Let me be clear:
- there are very few choices that lead to immediate successful or destructive consequences.
- There are thousands, perhaps millions of choices that lead to long-term successful or long-term destructive consequences.
How do you navigate those legions of choices?
Well, drink another cup of coffee and join me tomorrow…