So what happens when you’re faced with the fork in the road?
Like Yogi Berra says, take it. Yes, but which fork? And how will it shape your life? Will it be irrevocable or will you be able to retrace your steps? Will the woods be dark and deep with miles to go before you sleep or will the woods lead to a clearing with a house beckoning you to a world of imagined ‘bounties’ and what not? Sigh!
I am faced with this dilemma now.
I have been at the cusp of a new beginning in my professional life. On the verge of partnering with someone who I thought was excited by doing something that gave the both of us immense satisfaction and a high. Of delivering world class services at an affordable cost for those who were in need, in the area of communication design. But just when we were on the precipice of formalising it, there’s a twist. The partner/collaborator/ friend decides to pursue something else that has struck him as exciting and perhaps more up his alley in a manner of speaking.
Wait. There’s another twist. This partner has invited some of his friends including myself to be a part of this new journey. And therein lies the fork in the road. And the questions that sometimes beget no black and white answers.
a) Should one listen to one’s head or heart?
b) Can one identify the voice of the Head and the Heart?
c) Why is it bad to be rational and logical? Is it really that bad? And what’s so amazing about listening to the heart and intuition and instinct?
d) Is going after “deemed” financial security bad?
e) Can the excitement and the vision of being a leader replace being a mere follower?
f) Can a follower be a small leader (small fish, big pond) and create followers and inspire within that limited sphere of influence?
g) Is the sacrifice of charting your own path greater than plumping for financial security?
h) Is financial security the only guarantee that one needs to work towards?
i) Does success eventually mean a title, a designation, the bank account and the attendant experience that comes with it?
j) Can one really go alone with one’s ideas and hope to God that He’s as kind as he was to Sarah Blakely? Of course when you read this, you realise she took a chance on herself and backed herself to the hilt. She was all that Life Coaches, spiritual leaders and Self-help 101 books tell you about – “keep the focus”, “visualise”, “believe in yourself and your dream”, “stay the course” and “fail” (and when you do, just get back up, dust off and begin again).
k) Can one take a chance on oneself or shackle oneself down with imagined “fail” scenarios and fears? Is age really a factor? Or is it all about luck, timing and “never ever give up” attitude backed by some ingenious ideas?
l) Should one settle for the heady risk or the risk headed by someone else where one has nothing to lose?
m) Must one follow what others are doing or march to the beat of one’s own drum?
n) Does listening to one’s heart always have you end up smiling at the end of the road with a hi-five? Or there are times when you rise with a heavy heart rueful of missed opportunities?
o) What does it take to be that person who’s showing you the way and dangling the carrot? And causing the fork in the road? What carrot will I need to believe in myself?
p) Is a leap of faith really so dangerous that a tumble will cause us to completely unravel?
q) Is failure really such a vile, vicious, blood-sucking vampire? What’s to be afraid of?
Dear God! I need a mentor, a clairvoyant, a crystal ball, a stiff drink and a dogged nose to be able to sniff out Truth vs. Rationale. I need to go where my heart has always longed to go. To do what I’ve longed to do. But I also need someone who believes in me more now than I do myself. I need an answer – what do I do?
Well, Yogi Berra did say take the fork in the road. Sure Yogi. Which way?