I received a catalog in the mail the other day from a well-known company that provides fine cookware for the cooking enthusiast. As I flipped through the pages, I came upon an ad for these whimsical cupcake pans that just looked like they would be fun to use. I noticed at the end of the description that it read “Limited Lifetime” Warranty. I laughed out loud! My first thought was “thankfully!” This got me thinking about how we go through life looking for that “Lifetime” Warranty and how it can cripple our decision-making and keep us a prisoner to predictability in our lives.
We struggle with decisions each and every day about so many aspects of our lives. Some are crucial and some are not. We struggle with where to eat, where to live, where to send our children to school, ending relationships that are no longer healthy for us, career decisions like going back to work or starting our own business.
Why do we struggle? Well, I think it’s because we want to make a decision that has that “lifetime” warranty. We want to make sure it’s the right decision. We want it to be the right one for the rest of our lives. As I write this sentence, it’s a bit scary to me. The right decision for the rest of my life! But what if I change my mind? What if circumstances change and I want to do something different?
I have been involved in a community effort recently that involves a decision that would make a big change in that community. It’s a change that I think is necessary to keep moving forward. There are those that are ready for the change knowing that, over time, even more change and new ways of thinking will need to be present. There are others who are very uncomfortable with this. They want the decision to hold that “lifetime” warranty for them. They want this decision to be the right one forever. Forever is a long time. Forever rarely exists. There are not many decisions that can last forever.
I experience this in my work with women as well. Sometimes they want a guarantee that the decisions they make today will carry a “lifetime” warranty. Vicki Flaugher, owner of Smart Woman Publishing, interviewed me last week, and one of the questions was, “Do you feel female entrepreneurs have any unique opportunities vs. men?” My answer was yes! Women have the opportunity to re-invent themselves several times in the course of their lifetime. In order for this to happen, women must be looking for that “limited lifetime” warranty so that change, growth, and re-invention can occur when the time is right.
How about you? Do you enjoy the “limited lifetime” warranty or are you always looking for the “lifetime” warranty? Do you enjoy a new challenge, a new way of thinking? Or do you want to stay in your comfort zone day after day with the assurance that nothing will ever change? I can tell you with a lot of excitement creeping up from my inner core that I love the fact that I have a “limited lifetime” warranty on the decisions in my life. Of course, there are things that I wish had a “lifetime” warranty. My health, my husband’s health, my children’s health and safety, but I know this is impossible. These aspects carry a “limited” warranty.
With everything else, the thought of having to live with something that is guaranteed to last forever would dampen my creative thought process. I had a mentor once, who used to say that success was a never-ending journey. It’s exciting, that along the journey, we have the opportunity to explore new paths and find new ways of being. What could be more exciting than a life filled with energy, passion, and purpose?
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2008 Joy Chudacoff
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