Ep. 11 – Choose, Choose Again

January 25, 2023

I was reading something one of my pals wrote. She’s a great writer. Her name’s Naheima Cabrol-Guiocheau on Facebook and Instagram. She wrote a book called Surfing for Meaning. It hasn’t been published yet but she drops these beautiful essays into her social media. In this case, she was telling this story of growing up in France. She played all different sports, but she didn’t excel at any of them. She really loved soccer, but she didn’t get much field time. She tells this story about finally being asked to play and being really excited. Then while playing, there came a point when she was supposed to throw the ball back onto the field from the sidelines. She’s thinking to herself ‘oh my gosh, this is my moment.’ Then she throws the ball into the field, her teammate kicks it back to her and she said she just went nuts. She was thinking ‘oh my gosh, this is my moment to make my coach proud of me. I’m going to give it my all.’ Well, she goes barreling down the field with this increasing sense that she’s going make a goal. She just knows she’s going to make that goal. Then she gets all the way down the field and just as she’s about to score, she looks up squarely in the face of the goalie who is her teammate. She’s been running in the wrong direction. In that instant, she realized that everybody’s been screaming at her trying to tell her that she’s going in the wrong direction. In her post, she talks about how embarrassing and humiliating, and also how scary it was.

Anyway, it’s beautifully written and it got me thinking about what happens to us when we’ve set out for some big goal, determined to give it our all. Disciplined and working hard to achieve something that we want, only to get there and realize either that it’s not all that we cooked it up to be in our mind. Or, much more common, that we don’t want it anymore. We outgrow this thing that we work so hard to achieve, and it can be incredibly disconcerting. The first example of this that comes to my mind is partners in law firms. The carrot dangles in front of you – the prestige, the remuneration mechanisms, etc. You get it.

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