Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? Those were my “guilty pleasure” when I was in elementary school.
Yes, I liked to live life on the edge.
I loved to read when I was young. I still do. Reading just one hour each day can have a tremendous impact on your success. But, as a child, I wasn’t reading in order to become a more successful business owner. Reading was an escape, and the ability to choose the outcome of the story made that escape even better.
Choose Your Own Adventure books posed a few challenges, though. Sometimes, both choices sounded interesting, and I had a hard time deciding which choice to make. Other times, I would be far enough into the story I knew the next choice would result in the end of the story. I would agonize over my choice, because I wanted “my” story to have a positive outcome. Occasionally, I would “accidentally” read a page that sounded so interesting, I would try to reverse engineer my way to that page to see how the story led to that point.
The greatest thing about Choose Your Own Adventure books was, if you didn’t like the outcome, you could go back and try again. With time, you could experience every possible outcome in the book. You just couldn’t experience them all at once.
Choose your own adventure…in life
We live in an instant gratification, I want it all and I want it now world. Social media makes it easy to play the comparison game. No matter how happy you are for them, it’s hard not to feel impatient when you see your friends’ successes and you feel like you are spinning your wheels.
My favorite Oprah Winfrey quote is, “You can have it all. Just not all at once.” Of course, this means we have to make choices. Fortunately, as with Choose Your Own Adventure books, you can determine the outcome you want and reverse engineer your way to it.
In order for this to work, you must have a clear vision for your current stage of life and the ability to prioritize the things that are most important to you. If you have young children – or teenagers – at home, they are your priority. This doesn’t mean you can’t build your business, but it does mean you will probably have to build it slower than your friends who don’t have kids yet or whose kids are grown. The challenge is to keep this in mind while your friends are sharing their business successes with you. You are not an underachiever who needs to work harder because you aren’t experiencing the same successes as they are – you are just having a different adventure than they are at the moment.
When you reach the end of your current adventure, you get to choose a new one. And, because you have formed a clear vision for the adventure and prioritized it, you will find it much more fulfilling than trying to have it all at once.