There are always at least two sides to every story. There is an original series currently running on Showtime named The Affair that emphasizes this point as part of its story telling execution. The show is about a character named Noah who destroys his marriage by having an affair during his summer vacation in the Hamptons.
However, the characters and story line are not the unique part of the show. The way the story is told is what is interesting. In each episode you watch a series of events from the vantage point of two different characters. As expected each person sees that same event in a different manner. The actions they individually take and the way they observe the actions of others is totally different. The show is so interesting because in many of life’s events there are always two sides of the story.
Just as there are two sides to every story, there are only two possible roles you can play at any given time. Either you are taking action or you are observing someone else’s actions. It is critically important that you optimize both of those roles in order for you to have the success you desire in life.
Let’s first explore your role as the action taker. There is nothing earth shatteringly new to learn about taking action. Every result you have in life will be determined by the actions that you decide to take. Therefore, it is important that we take the right actions all throughout our lives. See, you didn’t learn anything new. You of course, already know this.
However, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that you need to be thoughtful in the actions that you take. The reminder, Decisively Intent, is one way to approach taking actions thoughtfully. This reminder simply communicates that you shouldn’t let life or the actions you take in your life just happen.
You should be decisive in the actions you take. You should take actions with intent. You must take the time to determine your intent and then determine the best actions to take to achieve that intent. You have to reflect on what you want and why you want it before going out to get it. Once again, this is nothing new. This is a reminder.
Yet just because you take these Decisively Intent actions doesn’t mean things will always go your way. Sometimes you will take action and things will still blow up in your face. The business will fail. The relationship will sour. The person on the other side of the communication will not get it. Failure is a part of life. How you see each and every failure is up to you.
This is where we transition to the role of the observer. Whether you are observing the results of your actions or the results of someone else’s actions your observation is equally important to your success in life. How is that possible? Wasn’t it just stated that every result we have is determined by the actions that we take? How can observing be equally important?
The reason that observing is equally as important as taking action is because observing is itself an action. Acting and observing are essentially on the same continuum. When things are happening around you it takes action to determine how you interpret them. First and foremost, you must decide to initiate your awareness to observe the event itself. Once you begin observing you must then decide how you will interpret the event you are observing. This takes action on your part. You get to decide how you interpret every event that you ever observe in your lifetime.
How you interpret the event will determine your next actions which will determine your results. Do you see the full circle now? You take action and observe the results. Based on your observation of those results you take subsequent actions that allow you to have more results. Or you observe someone else’s actions, interpret them and then take subsequent actions that garner results.
For example, if you take action and fail there are several ways you could observe that failure. If you observe you actions as a waste of time based on the fact that you failed there is a good chance you won’t try again. Conversely, if you observe your actions as a learning experience there is a good chance you will incorporate your learnings into you next attempt to try again. Thus we have the same event and two different observations which will result in two different actions resulting in two different results.
Unfortunately, too many people get labeled as being too optimistic because of how they observe life’s events. Ridiculously they are told by others that they are too positive. Yet just as stated above there are two sides to every story. What some see as being too positive others see as choosing to observe life in a way to benefit them. Things will go right in your life and things will go wrong in your life. In either situation you will play either the role of the person taking action, the observer or both. You get to decide how you will play any of these roles.
Will you be Decisively Intent in the actions you take? Will you observe what is happening around you as an opportunity to grow? Or will you let life just happen and take actions on the fly? Will you observe what is happening around you as a deterrent to keep you from growing and succeeding in the face of failure?
You get to choose. I hope you choose what is best for you. As always, I wish you the best and remind you to enjoy the journey.