A few years ago a close friend lost his wife to cancer. I cannot imagine what that feels like nor how long it takes to heal from such a terrible experience. For three years after Theresa’s ’s death, Dave became isolated from friends, coworkers, and all the activities they used to do together.
But then something happened. Dave was on the phone with his daughter , who was then a med student.. While making rounds and interacting with families, someone asked her about her own family. She told them that she’d lost her Mom to cancer and it was the worst experience she’d ever encountered. And then, she continued, saying she was afraid she was losing her Dad as well.
Talk about a knife to the heart. From that moment, Dave made a decision to Thrive and not Just Survive. He cleaned out Theresa’s ’s clothes and donated them to charity. He took down their wedding picture, removed his wedding ring, and placed it in the family safe. He started going out with old friends and engaging with coworkers around the office again. He even met a special lady who will never replace Theresa, but who gave Dave something he never thought possible – a new love in his life.
Relocations, volunteering, or accepting a new work assignment. Divorcing a spouse. Giving tough love to your kids.
We all encounter tough decisions from time to time. So what do we do?
We ask for advice from people we trust – coworkers, friends, family members, and so on. Sometimes it turns out great, but in many cases not so great. Because advice is just that – it’s advice. It’s people drawing from their own experiences and putting themselves in your shoes. But who knows you better than anyone? You do! Often the best advice comes from inside of you.
In every decision we make, it really boils down to just two choices. Every action we take. We can choose to Just Survive or we can choose to Thrive. Survive or Thrive. But we tend to overcomplicate these decisions by seeking an overabundance of advice.
In over 30 years in my business career, I’ve had to make tons of life-changing decisions, and I’ve witnessed lots of other people wrestle with gut-wrenching decisions of their own. And when I reflect on these impactful decisions, the ones that always worked out the best were those that came from inside, where the decision maker knew in his or her gut and heart which direction to take. And even those that didn’t quite pan out as intended – they still led the individual down a path to success.
What tough decisions are you facing right now? Will you choose to Thrive? Or Just Survive?
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