Often in life, the joy that we experience comes down to the quality of the decisions that we make. Each day we are presented with choices and opportunities all around us. I think the hardest part for most people is actually choosing wisely. Stick with me because I'm going to share with you my untold story about my encounter with the law, cops, or whatever you refer to as the police. You can put my failure to work for you.
Decision is a powerful word.
Today I want to talk about two decisions that you will make in life. The first decision is Celebration of Decisions. The second one is what I call the Agony of Regret.
As you move through life, you're going to come up with two situations that are going to metaphorically hit you in the face.
My police story you've never heard!
Today I will tell you a little story about me as it relates to trying to become a police officer. I was 18 years old and I had a vision that maybe I should become a police officer. I made the decision to apply for the police force. At that time, hiring of new police officer recruits was very thin. They were only hiring 50 people per year out of an applicant pool base of about 7,500. It was really challenging to get hired at that time. Regardless, I made my application I didn't make it very far.
The police service that I applied to had a 15 step hiring process and I only made it through two steps along before I got my nice rejection letter in the mail. What was next for me? I thought to myself, "okay let's try something else".
Fast forward about 10 years after that experience. The desire was there again and I was thinking strongly about whether I should try to become a police officer after the previous rejection. It was at that point that I was faced with the decision.
I could decide to attempt the recruitment process again after being rejected to become a police officer or I could decide to not do anything and through inaction and forever hold my peace.
Decisions are costly
Two interesting choices that we all face throughout the various touch points of our lives. If you decide to go for something, it's going to require a commitment from you. Your decision and commitment will require a bunch of time, effort, money or training.
Doing nothing costs the most
Alternatively, doing nothing is not really a good option at all either because even though you don't have to expend time, energy and resources, you get a gift in return for doing nothing. This gift is called regret. After a while regret grows into the Agony of Regret like a bad cancer cell that takes over a healthy body. Regret left untouched turns into agony and it becomes an agony filled life of regret.
Ultimately, I had two choices and so will You.
Remember this, no matter how bad life may seem for you, you will always have a minimum of two choices even when you think you only have one option. You can take the high road and go for it, or regret it. ("it" is whatever is in your focus of pursuit)
The turning point for me was that I didn't want to go along in life 10 or 15 years down the road from that point and wonder every time I saw a police car drive by me if that could have been me driving the police car. What if should have gone for it?
I don't like living that way. I want to try something and know for sure and have the feedback from the experience. When you have the experience you get feedback.
After this, I was determined and made the decision that I was going for it, with it being getting hired to become a police officer. I'm investing the time, energy and the resources.
I successfully completed 14 out of 15 steps towards becoming a police officer . The final step was getting through a psychological test. My hiring officer called me into the office to tell me that they were ending my application and not hiring me. They said that there was a bunch of reasons such as demographic matching, succession planning match, etc.
What was very interesting was when the hiring officer said to me, "Shane, you seem like a very innovative guy. You're a very business focused person and our main concern actually is that you would become bored of being a police officer in the next 5 to 6 years and you might quit the force. We need a minimum of 10 years out of each officer to recoup our investment into the training, education and learning curve of each officer"
They had all the metrics laid out so I shook hands, thanked them and walked away. Certainly it was sad at the time, but I knew that God had a better plan for me and that better things were to materialize.
Now I live life celebrating that decision to attempt the recruiting process a second and last time.
Decide, commit and go for something so that you can get the experience. The experience will give you feedback from the your effort which allows you to then celebrate the decision.
Even though it didn't work out for me how I intended, that process of trying to become a police officer was a major personal growth journey for me. I wouldn't give up or trade the journey for the world. It was a time of intense focus and faith building. Now and for the rest of my life, every time a police officer walks by or a police car drives by me on the street, I smile because I know that I gave it my best shot.
If we ever get a chance to meet or talk in real life, I'd love to expand upon some of my journey with you. But it was awesome and the better thing is that I don't have to live with the Agony of Regret.
Whatever you're working on, whatever you're dreaming about, whatever you're hoping for, I encourage you to make a decision.
Make the decision that will allow you to Celebrate the Decision and live in the power of celebrating your decisions versus living a life filled with the Agony of Regret.
I hope that this article is going to inspire you to sit down and think about what steps you're going to take so that you can live in the power of decision versus the crippling power of no action. My hope for you is that you absolutely live a life where you work towards incremental progress done imperfectly over time so that you live a life of monumental results.
Please do leave a comment today on whether you have been living a life of Celebration of Decisions or the Agony of Regret.