In the episode “Galileo” from the television series The West Wing, senior speech writer Sam Seaborn,while discussing amission to Mars, with the White House Chief of Staff’s daughter, Mallory O’Brian offers this statement as a reason of “why” a decision is beingmade to move in a particular direction (and for the purpose of the story, why the mission to Mars)
” ‘Cause it’s next. ‘Cause we came out of the cave, and we looked over the hill and we saw fire; and we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west, and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration and this is what’s next.”
The reason to do something, anything, is to avoid being at a place of nothing. Of default. Of “I’m just here”. This has been on mind a great deal lately. The default future. The preferred future.
So many times, confusion exists as to why decisions and commitments are made. Is it drive? Desires? Materialism? Financial accumulation? Whatever the reason of justification is…really doesn’t matter. The reason does need to be an honest assessment, though. Too often, we, for whatever reason, fail to get to the heart of the matter… of both what we are going to do and how we are going to do it.
The “what’s next” factor in the equation of life ultimately comes back to this roadmap… the game plan that provides direction… direction that is necessary and critical to making the difference between the default setting and the preferred setting.
Default says “whatever”. It is what it is; it is what it is, has, will, always been and will continue to be. Whatever you want; whatever works, whatever you decide. By the way… I don’t watch the X-Factor, but without going into detail, it was on our TV earlier tonight. One of the judges, Nicole froze….couldn’t decide on who to send home. Her inability to make the call, which was frankly an obvious one, led to “let America choose” and the wrong person went home. Everyone knew she blew it. She knew she blew it. Her inability to make a decision affected someone else’ future. It was a staggering embarrassment. I say all of that, to say, “whatever” is never a good decision.
Preferred is entirely different. Sure it’s better. But that’s the result. Results require work. Work that many have difficulty performing; which is why so many dream of preferred but never move in that direction. They can not figure out how to move out of default.
Preferred is decisive. Preferred is clear. It is focused. It is worth the time and effort and challenge. There is never anything exciting or dynamic, impressive or powerful that happens when the settings remain in “default” mode. You’ll miss the music playing through the stereo. You’ll miss the connection to the road, when driving a car with a “sport” mode function. You’ll miss the clarity of picture watching your favorite show. (The West Wing v. X-Factor….yeah, no contest there). The beauty of the photograph. A default life is…..well…you probably know someone and what that looks like.
Default is what someone says something should be. Preferred is what you say something should be. Disregard the naysayers. The critics. The jealous. The unbeliever, the doubter, the waiter, the undecided, unsure, unable and those lacking confidence.
We’ve all been there. A struggle with confidence. Hesitancy. Unable to make the hard call. Taking the risk. This isn’t a “slam” if any of these hit home with you. They hit home with me….some more recently than others. The difference comes back to the desired end goal and that regardless of what is known and seen or not so much, not only deciding that the preferred position is worthwhile, but committing to doing whatever is necessary….whatever is “next” in moving in the direction of that preference.
Like I shared a few days ago…decision allows for change of mind. Commitment requires determination. Perhaps your preferred future involves exploring the unknown…the frontier, the sky, what exists in space…..a new career, a relationship, marriage, friends, financial…
Don’t let the unknown intimidate and influence your decision.
Do allow your determination to challenge and overcome the unknown.
Risks are worthwhile. If they weren’t; nothing would ever get done. People accomplish and overcome “what’s next” because they looked at what they have with default and what they could do with preferred and determine…we must move forward.
What doesn’t move becomes stagnate. What doesn’t get used because hard and stale. Moving forward with what’s next, whatever the reasons and motivations for doing so, will create an attractive, impactful and powerful life. Why? Because it motivates others to dream beyond their present reality to what could be…..seeing and knowing and thinking; Hey…if it’s possible for them; then perhaps….it’s possible for me.
And when someone comes to that realization….Hope Happens. The Real Reason For Moving Forward. I Can. You Will. Let’s Go. Let’s Do.
Let us Be…ALL that we were designed, created and destined to be. Preferred.