Always reach for that extra cannolo
My father, a man of gentle eyes and an aggressively receding hairline was also know as a man of great irony. Whenever confronted with a choice that would potentially lead to an unforeseen outcome, he would placidly say “Well, at least we will have a story to tell St. Peter at the pearly gates.”
Mind you, this would often be said as he would reach for that extra cannolo, and not whilst bungee jumping off a cliff; still it left an impression on my young mind.
We’re always confronted with choices, some more important than others. What to have for breakfast, what to wear to work, whether to answer that ringing phone as we leave the house. If each of those choices demanded us to carefully weigh the broad array of possibilities before us, our brain would blow a gasket even before getting out the door.
Routine, and automatic reflexes assure us that we did indeed put the cap back on the tooth paste even if we have no conscious recollection of doing so; that we turned off the burner after making our tofu scramble, and that we locked the front door before heading to face more important choices, those that will demand our full attention, and that ultimately will have a more immediate impact on our lives.
Why is it then, that in critical moments in our lives, when faced with life-altering choices we often find our ability to make them so daunting? Our minds can spin out of control coming up with the quantum repercussion of a single act to the point of freezing us into place, and keeping us motionless where action is required.
Fear of failure is by far one of the most common hurdles, and possibly the emotion that brings us back to the high school terror of being judged and scorned by our peers as we pick ourselves up after a humiliating fall.
What’s the worse thing that can happen? So, you fail. “Well, at least we will have a story to tell St. Peter at the pearly gates.” You will have learned a lesson, you will have shown yourself as the hero of your own story, and not just a bystander.
We all now how it ends: one day our life will flash before our eyes. We just need to make sure it is worth watching, which is to say: always reach for that extra cannolo (or cupcake, or jelly doughnut …).