Falling Feels Like Flying Till You Crash - I’m in love with the music of Chris Stapleton.  If you aren’t familiar with Stapleton, he’s a rising star in country music.   You might be rolling your eyes a bit on this one if you’re not a country music fan, but trust me.  No, really. It’s not your dad’s country music. Chris Stapleton has one of the most unique voices in the industry today.  His voice has a bluesy, soulful sound with a little throwback southern rock mixed in.

 

In his song, Parachute, the lyrics say, “Falling feels like flying till you hit the ground.”  I think you can come up with a few different interpretations of what that actually means but my interpretation is that bad decisions can feel good (you feel like you are flying) until you are forced to deal with the consequences (hitting the ground).

Difficult Choices and Defining Decisions

Decisions. They are a staple of life, aren’t they?  You can’t get away from them.

Most of them are simple and the decision-making process is so seamless that we’re usually unaware of it. The process flows effortlessly and many of our decisions have no long-lasting consequences while others can have a colossal impact on the direction of our journey.

Those are the ones that make us crash.

As adults, we heavily design our own destiny.  You may disagree.  Some will say that only God knows our destination.  Some will say that things happen that are out of our control. No matter what your view, there is one undisputable fact – so much of our life is within our control.

Do you know how powerful that is?

Your destiny is being designed with every decision you make.  Decisions play a significant role in outlining and casting your life.   In a single moment, an unwise choice can upset your most comprehensive plan and alter the course of your path.

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Almost everything in life comes from our power of choice. We choose the way we live. What we eat, what we do, what we wear, where we work, who we hang out with, how we personally develop, what we read, etc. … it’s all a choice. A personal choice.

We have a brain to help us make the best decisions for life. Great decisions are based upon relevant information and knowledge, contemplation and reflection of the life you want to lead, and your current motivation to live that life.

But that’s in a perfect world.

We’re human.

That means we fail miserably at times.  With choice after choice, we’re bound to make a few mistakes.  I’d be willing to bet that often times we’ve been in situations where we knew the right choice but, darn it, we chose the wrong one anyway.

It’s a dreadful feeling when you make the wrong choice, but it’s an even worse feeling to make the wrong choice when you knew that it was wrong. But, oh, for that moment in time, you’ll feel like you are flying when you are really falling.

And, then you crash.

Then it becomes a matter of how you get up after you’ve gone down in flames.   It’s a matter of how you overcome your

poor choices because even the wrong choices can still bring us to the right places if we recover properly.

Decisions Vary

There isn’t one single way that we should live our lives.  No one path will lead all people to success, harmony, and self-actualization.

No single ladder will help us all reach the same height.

There’s just a long, twisting, entangled personal journey of possibilities that come in the form of choices and decisions . . .  and consequences.

If you view your life as a game of trial and error or win or lose instead of looking at it as a journey with your ideal destination in mind, then you can lack clarity in your ability to make the best decisions.

The Path Less Journeyed

One of my favorite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson and he said,

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

But that’s often the harder route because nobody’s been there before. You have to be a little tougher to carve out your own path. You have to be a little more confident to go where others have not.

The nature of life means that there are many moments where you feel like you are standing at a fork in the road, looking down two potential paths, and wondering which way you should go.

Sometimes the one that has been forged looks easier but don’t fall for that trap because that may not be your path. When you’re feeling lost, you often take the one that appears easier because you think that will get you home quickly and safely.

But that’s the devil in the choice, right?

Other times we know which path will lead us further away from our objective but curiosity get the best of us, and we set off on that path.

So many choices.  So many paths.

How wonderful to have the option to travel countless paths. But you have to choose your path wisely because when you choose poorly, you live poorly.

It’s Not the Failure That Matters, It’s the Recovery

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Miles Davis once said, “When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that makes it good or bad.” That means that we can recover from the worst blunders in life.

How?

By taking complete responsibility.Who made the choice?  You did.  Ouch! Reality. But don’t beat yourself up over it. Own it and move onward.   Taking responsibility means that you may have a few apologies to make along the way.  A little humility goes a long way.

Then, reflect.

John Dewey said, “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” It’s crucial that you understand why you made the decision you made.  Don’t lie to yourself. Be honest. It’s not a time for excuses. Excuses only inhibit your ability to overcome. Excuses are your enablers.

Reflection is a time to understand what happened so you can avoid making similar decisions in the future.

End your regrets, refocus, and revise your plan. Regrets are dark emotions that eat at you and make a bad situation even worse. Dwelling on regrets without refocusing your efforts will breed negativity and overshadow any positive efforts you are making.

Refocus your solutions to what’s happening now. Revise your plan and soar.What happens today gets you closer to where you want to be tomorrow. If you are plagued by guilt and regrets, how can you let positivity multiply so that you are soaring?

You want to soar, you just want to avoid the crash.

Choose wisely.

And, for anyone who wants to take a listen to Chris Stapleton,  start here: Chris Stapleton Music

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