• Living with Dare is about choosing for yourself.
  • To choose you need to compromise.
  • To compromise you need to know what is important and what is not.
  • To know what is important you need to know what you want to create.

But let’s go back to making choices and compromise! Finding out what you want is a whole topic on its own and once you have it, the next step that people often get stuck at is the ‘doing it’ part because they haven’t mastered the art of choosing.

What if choosing was a skill not something you were born with  ?

Yes, choosing is a skill and skills aren’t things you are always born with, they are things that you get to practice to master. The problem is we seldom practice them because we seldom realise we have a choice.

Why you avoid making choices

We avoid making choices because we avoid anything that may make us or the people around us feel uncomfortable.

To make it even harder to make choices, we hate “being in trouble” or being made responsible for other people being unhappy and so we are totally attached to how other people feel. This is something you can’t control! Ever! How someone feels is always their choice no matter how hard they insist it isn’t (read my blog on being trapped by other people’s feelings for more on that, it really is a blog on its own)

Have you asked yourself why don’t you choose things that make you uncomfortable or make other people uncomfortable ? If the answer is to avoid it, then you need to start asking yourself if avoiding discomfort is working for you and creating what you want ?

What if choosing wasn’t about controlling the outcome ?

This is the really interesting part about choosing – we have been taught that our choices are the things that create the outcome. This is only partly true. When you are an Olympic swimmer your choices get you to the pool. Your choices will ensure you are trained and fit and  making the most of your ability (or not). That is where the impact of your choices stops.

There is nothing you can do outside of those choices that will guarantee that you will win the actual race – ask Michael Phelps when, as the ultimate Olympic Gold Medalist , he lost a race to a an unknown youngster swimming for the first time at the Olympics, Chad le Clos.

If you can’t control the outcome, what can you choose ?

Now you are asking the right questions. Your choices should always be focused on what you control and no, people aren’t on that list. You can only control you, what you say, what you do, what you feel! You can control how prepared you are, how confident you feel, how and what you say. You can control whether or not you get sucked into defending and being right, or if you let it go and instead keep your eye on the ball and don’t give up on creating what you want.

You will be surprised if you start to practice this at how outcomes change and how much less fight there is. You are no longer defending a position, you are choosing to follow the road to where you want to get and you are no longer insisting that this road is the only way there.

Why we never learnt to choose

Because we live in a world where we have been taught to allow other people to choose for us, starting with our parents, to our teachers to our bosses, when did you get to learn how to make choices ? Loved one’s are the worst at this because they want to protect us from pain and suffering and unhappiness, so they make our choices for us….and we still experience pain and suffering and unhappiness and now betrayal and mistrust and a lack of confidence as well.

How diving taught me to choose

Diving was a very good place to learn this, especially deep diving. To dive deep you have to pick from a list of things that could go wrong (and do) and decide which one’s are actually valid for the dive you are planning. These are the one’s you actively plan to manage, the others you pretty much ignore.

This freaks out new technical divers because the things you are ignoring could also kill you, but here is the thing – you can only focus on so many things (2 is my number), after that you may as well not bother because you can’t keep more than two things in your mind at full attention at once. This is actually a diving rule – abort the dive when the third thing goes wrong. It sounds odd but the practice is simple. You start a dive with a leaking dv, it isn’t serious and you can remove the water from each breath, all it takes is attention. Then your buoyance jacket (BC) starts to fill on it’s own…which means you now have to focus on not breathing in water AND not letting the air out of your BC. Fine! You can manage all that! Then the third thing happens – you get caught in a mega current, this is when you forget one of the two other things you were managing and either drown because of the leaky dv or you pop to the surface and die of an air embolism! Just because you really can’t focus on more than two things at a time!

In deep diving you have to compromise simply because it is not practically possible to manage all the possible things that could happen, you can only manage the probably one’s. That is where the art comes in, being able to pick the right probably one’s. It is an uneasy space to be in because you know if you get it wrong you could die, so it takes practice and with practice comes confidence. It also requires that you actually go do the dive!

This is turning into a much longer topic than I was expecting so I am going to break this into two. Next topic, The Art of Compromise. For this post know that you are going to have to compromise, the trick is to compromise on the non-important things. Compromise includes the emotional as well as physical worlds – not having to be right is a powerful one of those. Think about it as a line you are drawing between ‘here’ and ‘there’…now, does it matter which path you use to get ‘there’ ? If you can get there ethically, with your integrity intact, with everyone on board but it wasn’t the way you thought it should be, does it matter ?

That is the question I would like to leave you with – your goal is to get ‘there’. There are many ways to get there and compromise will get you there faster, so do you know what can you actually compromise on ?

Does it really matter how you get there ?

And if you answered that yes, why ? What about that matters and what not ? When you know those answers you may find a world of choices suddenly in front of you and with the power to choose comes the power to create the life you want to love.

Live with Dare! Dare to choose!