Photo by Letizia Bordoni
With Uncertainty There Are Always Choices
Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about the changes coming our way in the Education sector in New Zealand as a result of the change of Government.
They say that change is the only constant. And whoever “they” is, they might just be right. Change is a major player in our lives, both at a personal level and professional one.
With change comes uncertainty and often with uncertainty comes feelings of anxiousness and anxiety.
It can seem at times that along with this uncertainty that your choices in life begin to become limited. There are times as a leader that this seemed very much the case and this in turn added to the feeling of anxiety.
In reality though, even in times of uncertainty you still have many options available to you. You are never in a situation where you don’t have any choices to make.
One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost’s 1915 epic “A Road Not Taken”. In it he suggests that life is a journey full of decisions, and that sometimes it’s the most obscure ones that we make that make the biggest difference, even when they seem the most unlikely.
I like this. I like this a lot. In terms of leadership it’s a beacon for us. It’s a leading light and reminds us that there is always a choice, and that the right choice might not always be the thing that you initially thought was going to be the right choice.
And, if we think about it even more, we have choices everywhere. In times of uncertainty these choices are still there:
We have choices such as:
Do we choose to be indifferent or do we choose to stand up
Do we choose to love or do we choose to hate
Do we choose to make a difference or do we choose to sit on our hands
Do we choose to we proactive or do we choose to be reactive
Do we choose to be positive or do we choose to be negative
Do we choose to move forward with goodwill or choose to hold onto a grudge
Do we choose to trust or do we choose to be skeptical
Do we choose to have milk in our coffee or to keep it just black
Uncertainty and change doesn’t äutomatically mean that our choices have been eliminated, it just means that life is going on. And it will go on, whether we like it or not. And that too, is a choice.
And as Socrates once famously said; “The Secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.