Four simple choices appearing daily in our lives.
Initiate – Most commonly used when you are trying to do something new or different. It implies that there is no waiting. You make the choice to begin. When you initiate anything there is no guarantee of the outcome so there is some risk. But there is motion in a direction when you initiate and can lead to great personal growth by doing this over and over. Clearly led by a purpose or mission you believe in and want to see come to life.
Participate – This is not an aggressive action but can be meaningful. There is less risk in participating because you kind of know what you are getting into. We can still learn new things when we participate in anything and make new friends. Our people skills can improve when we participate whether it be for a project at work or volunteering at a non-profit. We did not dream of a purpose or mission but can buy into why something is important to do.
Procrastinate – This is a high-risk action that hides as if it was very safe to do. It’s counter-intuitive to think that something that seems so safe as procrastination is risky to do. It is a high risk in that you could be losing out on an opportunity that could lead to significant positive change in your life. Procrastination is the by-product of fear. Of not being sure if it is a good thing to start. It is the opposite of initiating. There is no buy-in to a mission or purpose in this case.
Ignore – This may or may not be intentional. All of us have heard things that others have told us that “went in one ear and out the other”. This phrase describes that you ignored what you heard. Ignoring is the extreme of procrastination. It is more definite even though we may not know that we did this. What isn’t clear is our motive. Sometimes we ignore things because we just don’t know the importance of not ignoring either what we have heard or what we see. Other times we don’t want to be bothered or do not want to put in the work. The challenge when considering to ignore is whether or not something is important to act on. It could very well be something minor that does not need your attention.
These four words again remind us that nothing in our lives happens without us being present and active. The challenge is to not follow the crowd who blames others and their situation for their life’s outcomes but rather to remember these four words and measure your thinking and actions against the possibility of harm each may cause.
Leaving us with many opportunities to choose wisely.