The Trouble with “Or”

I headed down to a local hospital yesterday to visit with friends expecting their first child. They’re both around 40-ish, so they’re “old enough” to be excited while not taking anything for granted. There was a lot of nervous energy in the air.

Too often, life throws us curve balls, and in the case of my friends, the curve ball came in the form of a baby determined to make his entrance six weeks early. Soon-to-be Mom and Dad are hoping to spend today watching football while keeping Baby tucked away for a few last minute upgrades.

In these situations, everyone has their own way of dealing with the stress and the worries. The Dad half of the couple is starting to reevaluate where he stands in life. He’s considering what he really wants to do, and he’s doing a little self-examination exercise to consider changes.

This led us to an interesting conversation over a quick dinner. Why does life always have to be this OR that? Soon-to-be-Dad is a very successful guy. He’s incredibly talented and one of the best at what he does. Most people look at him and think “man, he’s got it made”.

In many ways, he does “have it made”. But he’s not feeling that way right now. He’s faced with the trouble of “or”.

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“I want to continue doing what I do professionally but I also want to spend a lot of time with my son. I can’t do both — I have to pick one OR the other”.

“I enjoy my current lifestyle, but I can’t keep it up with a new child. I have to give up the things I enjoy OR sacrifice time with my family.”

As we talked, it became apparent that the “OR” was the problem. Very few of us want to be faced with this OR that — we want it all!

“OR” is a self-imposed limitation. “OR” is the result of a flawed thought process. We don’t have to do anything in life, and we certainly don’t have to accept “OR”. We can have ‘A’ AND ‘B’ — we simply have to change the way we approach the situation.

As we talked last night, it became obvious to both of us that once you decide not to accept “OR” as an option, the “AND” becomes clearer. When the thought process is adjusted, a whole new world of options opens up. These were options that went unnoticed and might never have been considered if New Dad didn’t refuse to accept “OR”.

He’s got a lot of planning ahead of him, but New Dad is about to really “have it made”. He’s going to have a son to welcome and love AND a successful, well-balanced life. His old life will likely seem empty by comparison.

Life tossed him a curve ball — he is in the process of hitting it out of the park.

Never settle. You can absolutely have everything you want once you decide you want it. An unborn baby just proved it.

One Response to “The Trouble with “Or””

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