One of my earliest fond memories of reading (and I didn’t like to read for a while) consisted of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. The series, which ran from the late ’70s to the late ’90s, was comprised of tales of exploration and mystery where children could decide which way the story would go by making a choice and then skipping ahead to that part of the book to see where that decision led them.
I was thinking the other day that one of the reasons they were so popular is because life really is a lot like those books. There may be chapters already written, but we can decide to take a different path when faced with a decision to make. Sometimes we can go back and have another opportunity to make a new decision, but other times we have to wait for the next story before we can choose again. Although we never really know how things will unfold on our rocket ride of living, the more we look ahead with awe and excitement, and the more we look back with gratitude for our experiences (including the most difficult ones), the more adventurous and fulfilling our lives will be.
Achieving Alignment Through Growth
I find it interesting that there is sort of a Universal Understanding that people become more aware of themselves around the age of 40. As Academy Award-winning actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow recently exclaimed in an interview on Jay Shetty’s On Purpose podcast, “I started to realize…how much I had lived my life to fulfill the expectations of other people, and I don’t know, something I think happens around the age of 40, where I always call it a software upgrade, it’s like it just happens and you can utilize it or amplify it or not, but it will happen to you…I thought, okay…I’m going to follow this path and see where it takes me.”
She later explained her views on creating the life you want to live by saying, “I think that if you are living in integrity and that your word and actions are aligned, then you can honestly bring anything into the world that you want to bring into the world.”
Her statements, for me, echo the spirit of Choose Your Own Adventure. These seem especially poignant in light of the crucible we have all been in for the past several months as our communities, nation and world continues to go through unprecedented times. Reflecting back on my post from April, it begs the question, how will you re-emerge? What adventure will you choose for your life now, and how can you align your intentions with your values and take action with integrity?