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Inspirational Articles


Creating Opportunities in Your Future

Copyright © 2004, Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. - Rossetti Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reprinted with Permission: Women's News Monthly, March 2004


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

We take a direction with our life, and chart the course straightaway. As we make plans and write goals, we busy ourselves with daily tasks. It is common that we get behind in our work and spend time trying to catch up in a whirlwind of activities. There are only so many hours in a day, and we get to choose how we spend them. We should look at our principles, values, and beliefs more often, to see if they are in line with how we spend our time.

With each passing day, there seems to be more responsibility and monumental tasks at hand. Success seems so far off.

As we work smarter, we realize that a few of the selected tasks that we do, bring us the most results. If we prioritize what we spend our time on in order to yield the most payoffs, we are more productive. The routine tasks may need to be evaluated. A better course of action may be to shift our attention to activities that cause us to grow professionally, and challenge us physically or mentally. Pausing to reflect on the activities we do, may give us new ideas that will take us a new direction.

I first read Mark Twain’s quote listed above, a month ago, and set it aside on my desk. The message deeply spoke to me, reminded me of my past, and encouraged me to take more risks in my future. I asked myself what I regretted doing, had not done soon enough, or had never done in the past 20 years that would have made a significant difference in my life. Twenty years seemed such a long way off in my faded memory.

I also looked ahead 20 years in the future, and wondered how I would see this current period of my life. As I thought of opportunities that I was considering in my immediate future, I wondered if I would regret not taking advantage of these opportunities, or delaying my decision. I asked myself “What if? Why not?” As my analytical mind weighed the pluses and minuses, I knew I had to talk to others to help me process what I was thinking.

I am not much of a risk taker. My conservative approach to life may have limited my achievements. Sometimes others can help persuade you to make a decision to take a bigger risk. Trusted colleagues oftentimes picture you in a world that you are not able to see for yourself. They see opportunities that will become available for you that perhaps you hadn’t seen. They remind you that you aren’t getting any younger.

There are many life-changing events that we can create for ourselves. These turning points come with commitments of resources and hard work. Some of the more common cross roads are: furthering your education; changing your marital status, job, or location; having children; and retiring from your job.

As we contemplate making a change, taking a risk, or going a new direction, the benefits become clearer. Gather the information that is needed to finalize your decision. Get the advice of others. Examine your choices. Think about the consequences and the worst thing that can happen if you took the action. Analyze the likelihood of failing and then see yourself after your failure. Was it really that devastating? Are the rewards worth the risk of failure? Would you regret your decision years later, or rather, regret your indecision?

Pushing yourself off from a comfortable point in your life to chart new waters is scary. Intuition will tell you when the time to pull up the anchor has come. Drift a little with your imagination and see yourself in this new role and be content with your decision.

Rosemarie Rossetti, PhD









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