Open Sesame

There is a saying that people eventually encounter a crossroads in life. It’s a time when you contemplate the options one has in life and can be visualized as one standing on a road that has multiple choices. Do you go left, right or straight? Another visualization is being in a hall with closed doors – which one do you walk through? When making this decision the assumption is that the choices are valid options in the first place. What if a door wasn’t a valid option…it was always closed to you and could not be opened?

There is a girl who does music videos. Her name is Tina and she wants to be a singer. You can view one of her videos here. She has 7100 subscribers on YouTube and a large following on MySpace. There is a concerted effort to encourage her to continue making videos. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not she can sing or but it has been commented many times on her videos the door to being a serious singer was an option.

Jack likes Jill and Jill likes Jack back and would like to try something with Jack. Although Jack desires Jill, Jack never attempts to take the relationship to another level because he doesn’t want to mess up the friendship (insert any reason here). One could say the door to be with Jack was never open to Jill because Jack closed the door and refused to open it.

You want to do a daily blog about technology. You work full-time, have three kids and a spouse. By the time you are able to sit down and write it is late and you have to prepare for the next day. Writing on weekends to get ahead is out because weekends are family time. One could say that as much as you’d like to do a daily blog about technology it isn’t a realistic option with everything going on in your life.

Shel Israel wrote a long article about his video debacle. Shel said:

When GNTV launched, I was not quite ready for prime time. If I was an actor, I would say I was prepared for a summer stock script reading. When the curtain went up, I found myself instead at center stage of an opening night on Broadway with some determined hecklers in the audience who managed for a while to distract me. Most people seem to agree that I got better.

What people agree on is that the video quality (the way it was shot) improved. Again, I’ll let you determine if his videos are good. But, as commented many times, his strength is writing not video. Some have said that the door to Shel being successful in video was never a real option in the first place.

In each of these cases it is technically possible these unrealistic options to become realistic but it would take an extreme effort to accomplish this. Tina could possibly sing with the right coaching. Jack could be with Jill if Jack overcame his insecurities. You could possibly do a daily blog with the support of your family and friends helping to free your time or write articles. Shel could possibly be better at videos if he worked hard at it (which would mean doing it for the love of doing videos not for money which is what he is doing now). Even if they worked hard would they be successful? Would Tina’s voice change so much that she’d be recognized as a singer by her peers as she desires? Would Jack and Jill’s relationship work if Jack’s insecurities overrode what Jill wanted? Would your spouse be happy sacrificing his/her time with you so you can blog? Can Shel change enough that not only would his videos be interesting but he’d understand the medium he is trying to become successful in?

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

Instead of focusing on the “closed door” (being a singer) Tina would be happy being an entertainer. Instead of focusing on losing a friendship Jack could focus on gaining a partner in life. Instead of doing a daily blog maybe a weekly blog or a topic that is less time consuming would be more realistic. Instead of being in the videos perhaps Shel would be a better producer or editor.

Unfortunately many people spend too much time looking at the closed door that was never going to open (in the way they wanted) in the first place.

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