“I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.”
– Comedian Joan Rivers
Once upon a time, there was a game show – it may still be on TV – that asked contestants to pick door number one, two, or three. If they picked door #2, and it turned out to be a can of tennis balls, the announcer would then reveal that there was “A BRAND NEW CAR!” behind door #1, and the host would commiserate with the now miserable contestant for a full four seconds.
Life, of course, is not exactly like this.
First of all, no one puts you on on a stage and says: decide right now which door you choose.
Secondly, no one tells you that “instead of marrying this selfish oaf, you could have married the nicest, most successful person in Illinois.”
Third, it takes much, much longer to understand the consequences of your decisions.
But that game show contest was just like life in one important respect: you actually get many choices.
It’s very easy to forget that you can pick many different doors, instead of just the one you passed through nine years ago.
You can pick the “Be Kinder to Your Employees” door.
You can pick the “Go Back to College” door.
There is a “Treat Your Customers As People First, and Sources of Income Second” door.
And, of course, there also is a “Don’t Give Up” door.
“I find that when you open the door toward openness and
transparency, a lot of people will follow you through.”
– Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
We don’t get to control our outcomes, but we do get to control our choices. Sometimes, however, it’s easy to pass by numerous choices – doors – without even recognizing that they present you with options.
For example, have you ever heard someone say, “I can’t stand it anymore, I have to quit”?
What most people mean is, “I want to quit.” If the choice was starvation or keep working, they would keep working.
No matter who you are or what you do, you probably have more options than you realize. It’s one thing to see a door and decide to leave it closed, but quite another to never notice the door at all.
Pay attention, and keep your eyes open for more choices, more possibilities, and more potential: your own.