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Leadership Thought #242 – Life Does Not Reward Those That Hesitate

November 7, 2011

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Life does not reward those that hesitate.  One of the hardest things to teach young athletes is to get them to think before they act.  They often are used to just plowing ahead regardless of the consequences or the rules.  It is a difficult balancing act because if you are not careful, they will begin to think too much and lose their natural athletic instincts.  In addition, you will play into their natural fears of making a mistake or being wrong.  And, in any sport, once you hesitate or pause, you give the other person the advantage by moving into reactive not proactive mode.

Adults struggle with this issue much more than children.  We are much more prone to hesitation before we act.  While it may no longer be the playing field it does become the landscape of life.  I’ve witnessed many people who over think a decision and end up losing the opportunity.  Timing does matter.  It is easy to talk yourself out of something and/or allow someone else to control your destiny.  In addition, it is rare that everything will line up perfectly so that there is no risk involved in the outcome.  Life will usually reward self-confidence and courage (just not always how you think it will). Sometimes you do have to plow forward and trust your instincts.

It is better to move confidently in the direction of your goals/ dreams and deal with the inevitable bumps in the road along the way as they arise.  This doesn’t mean you become reckless or completely self-centered.  Life does require an appropriate understanding of situational context and environmental perspective.  Moreover, once you assume responsibility for other people your decision-making must factor in this dynamic.  However, living your life reactively, regularly yielding the advantage to others, succumbing to your natural fears, and always trying to minimize risk is no way to act or live.  Hesitation can often be more harmful than action.