Point of Decision
How many decisions do you make daily?
Think for a moment. Isn’t everything a decision? Do I get up as soon as the alarm goes off, or do I hit the snooze button? Do I wear my pants today, or my skirt? Do we smile or scowl at people first thing in the morning?
Every action and inaction we take every moment of everyday involves making choices.
Glen Ridge High School Class of 1980 was noted for being the largest class in the history of this suburban community. The majority of us started school together as kindergartners and would graduate together thirteen years later. Very important to the average Glen Ridge student was being smart, good looking, and be active in a sport. One of my classmates fit the bill quite well, until his wrestling injury in our Junior Year sidelined him. The wrestling coach took Tom Mapother aside and suggested he audition for “Guys and Dolls” the Junior Class Play. At Glen Ridge, there was one play annually and the Junior Class Play was it!
Tom could have said, “No, macho athletic guys do not audition for musicals. What would the wrestling team think of me dancing around a stage? Nah, not me!” but instead, Tom made the choice to audition. He took action, got the lead and fell in love with performing.
Being in close proximity to Manhattan, opportunities abounded. He quickly landed a role in a Brooke Shields movie, “Endless Love.” It was a small role, playing one of Brooke’s brothers. I can not even remember who played Brooke’s love. Can you?
The next movie we saw Tom in was “Taps” about kids in a Military Academy. This was mostly a vehicle for Timothy Hutton, recently successful in “Ordinary People”. Tom took a small role, but made the choice to play it with every ounce of his being. He fully became a very intense, crazed cadet. He made the decision to take a part which could have been insignificant and used it to flex his acting muscle. To fully become the role assigned. He was so in the moment, so completely engaging in the part, that it catapulted him to the attention of many high powered Hollywood decision makers. Tom made a choice and took action by taking a small role and grew it to mammoth, life changing proportions.
After his breakthrough role in “Risky Business”, my classmate Tom Mapother fully became movie star, Tom Cruise. His star-making movie could have become another coming of age teen flick, but instead it is now a classic.
Last weekend I was one of many who sat in the highest grossing film of the week, “Mission Impossible II”. There was my classmate getting an adrenaline rush while driving expensive cars and motorcycles and rock climbing and hobnobbing with the rich and influential in Sydney, Australia. While enjoying the entertainment value of this movie, I recognized the power of the star’s choices from a wrestling injury in his Junior Year in high school up until today, more than twenty years later.
As a producer, he was able to decide to film his movie in Sydney, Australia, his wife’s homeland. He made the choice to do most of his own stuntwork. He was able to make this heartjumping movie on the heels of another movie, “Magnolia” where he chose to play a supporting role quite different this one, thus netting an Academy Award nomination in the process.
What decisions are you making today? What will the combined impact of your choices for today be upon you tomorrow, next month and next year? Regardless of how seemingly insignificant the decision may be, think about it. When you are faced with a choice today, consider it for an extra second and then take action on your decision. Action to bring you closer to realizing your ideal life.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” Deciding not to take action is like deciding to keep the door locked to your self-induced prison. If your heart is racing, if you feel restless, if the depth of feeling startles you deep in your belly reading these words, the message to you is make powerful choices. Take action.
Live your life as you were meant to live.
Julie Jordan Scott is a Co-Founder of We Coach People Network: a Community for Coaches to Create a Webpresence and Methods for Achieving Coaching Success without Breaking the Bank. Find out more about this new site now: http://www.WeCoachPeople.net Visit her website: http://www.5passions.com