The Tyranny of the Or

dark alleyMany years ago I encountered a great concept in a book by Jim Collins – The Tyranny of the Or – because in our dichotomous world; our binary reality of this OR that; ones and zeros, we so often are convinced that the answer lies in one OR the other.  I am sure there are some of you out there saying I get this and I know where you are heading with this…  “It is not one or the other it is both!”

…And, yes!  You are absolutely correct, it is that simple.  I agree, and yet it never stops surprising me that every so often I end up in a dark alley of despair with an unseen menace heading my way.  There is no way out and I can feel my heart in my chest pounding away. Faster and faster and faster!  It’s like in the movies, if I only look up I will notice a ladder hanging just above my head.  Yes, the alley is a dead end but it is also a new beginning or a means of escape.

At the end of last year I was facing exactly such a situation where my current source of income was looking rather uncertain and even though I had something else on the horizon I could not see how I would end the one and move over to the other without jeopardizing both.  I was in that alley and I could sense that my (imaginary) demise was at hand.
What happened next was astonishing.  Without being able to divulge too much confidential info, all I can say was that after a meeting regarding my current role I was driving home when all of a sudden I realised that if I was willing to stretch myself a bit and consider a reality that I was not prepared for I can in fact incorporate both opportunities at once. Boom!

It hit me like thunder, but fortunately I maintained control of the car.  When I got home I was astonished that I didn’t see it before but also realised this was true because life was changing my plans without notifying me.  It simply required me to sign off on the plan and participate once I was given the new plan.

And that brings me to the pivot of the whole thing.  You can make a big shift with two big opportunities at hand if you are wiling to make a small sacrifice on which the whole thing can pivot.  Just consider both!

…And that is going from survive to alive!