Defining Moment

The Defining Moment, Part 12: Far Enough?

The Saddest Word is “Almost”

"Reach" courtesy James Jordan, Flickr CC
“Reach” courtesy James Jordan, Flickr CC

Now that you’ve gone through the objective “Positive/Negative” evaluation of your Defining Moment experience, it’s time to go back to your gut.

Did you go far enough?

Much like the question “did you like it?” this is one where the answer will be immediate, followed by a whole bunch of rationalizations. “Well, I maybe could have done it more…” or “What if I would have done this instead of that?” You think about ways you might have taken it further, or perhaps went too far.

It’s ok – cut yourself some slack, already! Go back to the fact that you did it at all in the first place. You did all that preparation, you have stacks of worksheets, and you took the chance on getting what you want.

Stop over-thinking it.

But What if the Answer is “Not Far Enough”?

That’s the hard part. Because in this “choose-your-own-adventure” process, this is the part where I have to say: Go back to part 4: Plan and re-calibrate what “Far Enough” means. You have new information now to factor in along with all the rest of the resources, actions, and also a better idea of what the actual risks are.

It’s entirely possible that the main lesson you’ve learned is that you don’t want this particular thing after all! I remember at one open conference I facilitated an attendee came up and said he had prepared for weeks to give his presentation, because he’d always wanted to be a professional speaker.

“Great!” I told him. “How did it go?”

“It went great!” he said. “Because I figured out that I really don’t want to be a presenter after all!” Personally, I consider facilitating that particular moment of self-discovery a service not only for him but for scores of future conference attendees.

But if the Answer is “Almost…”

Anything worth doing is worth doing twice on the off chance you did it wrong the first time – Int. Assoc. of Skydivers

More often, though, we realize that we just didn’t get it quite right the first time. We caught a glimpse of that Moment we’re striving for, got a taste of that feeling…but somehow we fell a little short.

Nothing to do but pick up the pieces and start over. I’m sorry to tell you that; I know, it’s a lot of work. Especially if it was something that was hard to set up in the first place, it may seem daunting. Or even impossible.

It’s not impossible. It’s just hard. It just takes tenaciousness. One thing that everyone who got what they wanted has in common: they stuck around long enough to get it.

And I can tell you with absolute surety: if you came close to getting what you really want, and you don’t try again – it will haunt you forever.

So save the ghost labor, save yourself hours of staring at the ceiling late at night with a mind full of what if and try again. And again. As many times as are necessary.

Did you go far enough?

DAMN RIGHT I did! What’s next?

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