365 Days of Courage #15: When you make a decision ...

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Have you noticed that when you make a decision to do something life conspires to make it happen?

Strange coincidences start to happen. Someone will show up in your life who is the perfect person to help you achieve the thing you want to do. Or you will suddenly learn about a book/organisation/place/event that is exactly what you need to take the next step. Or life will put people in your path who lead you in a direction you might never otherwise have considered, or who see qualities in you that you might not have noticed yourself which will change the course of your life in ways you could never have imagined.

Life will also STOP things from happening if they're not supposed to happen. This happened to me in 1993 when I was a trainee lawyer in London and I applied for a six month secondment to the New York office. For some reason, I had this strong feeling that it was something I wanted to do really, really, really badly. When I applied for the six month assignment that started in August 1993, another person got it but I was encouraged to reapply six months later. Which I did and I got it!

If I had been successful the first time I applied, I wouldn't have been able to stay beyond 6 months as I would have had to go back to London to finish my training. Because I was unsuccessful the first time I applied, the 6 month delay in going meant that I was able to stay in New York beyond the 6 month secondment. Next month will be my 25 year anniversary of moving to New York.

I moved to New York in February 1994 for what should have been six months. That experience introduced me to a city that felt like home, to a group of ex-pats who welcomed me so warmly into their lives, to an advertisement for dance lessons at the studio where Al Pacino learned to dance for "Scent of a Woman" to actually taking dance lessons, to a dance competition where I met the man who would become my husband, to three children, to a stand up comedy class, to performing comedy at Caroline's Comedy Club, to reading a book by Martha Beck and training as a coach with her and on and on and on.  Day by day, week by week, a city that might have been the setting for a single chapter in my life story became the backdrop for all the chapters in my life during the past 25 years.  At age 26, I could never have imagined what the next 25 years would hold for me.  Those 25 years grew out of an inkling that something really mattered to me and I acted on that gut instinct and kept reacting as the story unfolded.

So my advice is: make decisions, take action on those decisions and let life co-write your story with you.


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