Listen to the Podcast on “Choices” or read the light transcription below.
I have never had a problem making a choice and it’s because making a choice isn’t actually the difficult part. I know it that sounds a little weird but when I explain it, it will make a little bit more sense.
There’s an incident in the book where I’m a little girl and I’m in the grocery store with my mom. She gets a little ahead of me and she tells me that I can’t have any candy. I steal a gumball anyway and plop it in my mouth. And as luck would have it, I start choking on that gumball and end up on the floor choking really hard. People are starting to gather — I can still see my mother’s face even today. It’s seared in my head – there is this moment where she turns around and realizes that I’m choking and she doesn’t come running over, she doesn’t rush or whatever, but she looks at me with that face of disappointment. In what may have been a few seconds, I can tell by the way she’s looking at me that this was a consequence of a choice I made.
It was probably the first time I understood what consequences were. And over time I started to realize that making a choice was never really the problem. You know if you had a choice “A” versus choice “B” and you’re really conflicted as to which one to choose, you will make whatever choice you need to make depending on how you’re feeling that day, what’s going on in your life – things can change the reasons why we make certain choices. Right? But the one thing that doesn’t change is your ability to understand what the consequences are for either one of those choices.
And so, that’s what I do on a regular basis. I did that as a kid — I did that when I was young — I would see that there would be choice “A” and choice “B” and I would write down in my head or on paper – I would break down what the consequences were for each. And even if the consequences were more wrong or cons or bad – but I wanted to make that choice anyway for whatever reason — I was never surprised by what happened after I made that choice.
So the thing about understanding consequences is it does a few things: 1) it prepares you for the possibility that whatever choice you make, it may become a huge failure. But in knowing what the possible outcomes may be, you are also not surprised. Here’s another kind of a side benefit to being able to understand what your consequences are for whatever choices you make: it takes out a lot of fear. People always ask me, “Carmen how did you move to California not knowing anybody and on your own and not having any connection…”. People always ask these questions and I really don’t do anything haphazardly. I’m pretty much a control freak. Part of having that control is understanding what the consequences are to any choices I make. And when I have those consequences, and I understand what the possibilities may be on the downside, I can fly! I can leap with both feet because I will land — I will land regardless and I will pick up the pieces if it fails. Nine times out of ten it doesn’t fail and it doesn’t fail because I have taken control of the situation by understanding consequences.
I hope that makes some sense.
I wanted to share that because it’s come up a lot and it’s going to be part of my talk and conversation I’m having at a speaking event in 2019. But I hope that helps. I hope it gives people something to think about. Again, if you have any questions or you want to leave comments, thank you so much…
I wanted to say something else now that I’m back podcasting. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has bought my book, CANELA. I have not done any publicity whatsoever except to share it with my friends on facebook and a couple of posts I’ve put here on my blog. I am shocked by how many people have read the book and how many people have sent me emails and questions and praise… I’m so grateful for that. It really kind of touches me, everyone’s perspective and everyone’s ideas. It’s been a little bit overwhelming. I was surprised by how much people are understanding this book and are connecting to it. And as much as I write down all my consequences, I wasn’t prepared for, well, all the love. That’s what I’ll say. It’s been a beautiful thing.
If you have an idea for a book, or you always wanted to write a book or you’re thinking of writing a book, I really encourage you to do it. It really has been life changing for me. Now that it’s done and it’s out there, it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Please, keep writing, keep creating.
Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it always.
I’ll be back again soon. Have a sweet day.
Music – “Prelude No. 23” by Chris Zabriskie