They Didn’t Have a Choice

Sometimes I wonder if in today’s world we actually have too many choices. Having too many options to select from can keep us stuck, out of not wanting to make the wrong choice or not knowing how to actually decide.

That is how I came to be writing about the topic of “choice.” One of the cool things I love about living abroad is how small the world seems to be. On a recent road trip back from Spain to Poland we were asked by a friend, that we drop off something to her mom on our journey back to Warsaw.

I love instances like this when I get an opportunity to see how the natives live and hear their stories. The woman we are about to visit is in her mid-seventies and has lived in a small town all of her life and does not speak a lick of English. So, just in case, I make sure to have a note pad and pencil so that I can draw images as my Polish language skills are pretty bad, even by my standards.

Thankfully, I have my husband, (a native Pole) to do some of my translating. I just can’t help myself from wanting to learn about peoples lives, so my husband always has his job cut out for him as I shoot questions left and right. This visit proved to be no different. Pani (older woman in Polish) was so excited to have us visit that she also invited a neighbor. Sometimes being the “token American” can be fun, especially in a country like Poland where they love America and Americans.

As in most Polish households, the food is non-stop. This visit proved to be no different. Only this time the table was full of tomatoes. Brightly colored and served in every way imaginable, I was interested to understand, “why all the tomatoes?” I knew it was summer time but the amount of tomatoes and the many different varities, made me wonder. I began politely asking about the differences.

Both of the ladies chimed in with an immense amount of information, from discussions of the soil, to the type of water and sun. The information was plentiful and non-stop. So, I dug a little deeper. “Why tomatoes,” I ask? The answer, they didn’t have a choice.

Come to find out, tomatoes are one of the worlds heathiest vegetables. The things you learn when you become present and inquisitive about someone else. This is not something that ever came natural to me. I was always too much in a hurry, to focused on the my goal to stop and have a deep conversation about things like tomatoes. If this sounds like you, then you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that with practice, you too, can learn to be present. The pay off is huge!

Back to the ladies…the answer these women gave, almost took my breath away and made me wonder if not having choices could be a good thing? During their time of high school when college decisions were looming, these two women didn’t have a choice. They were told what they would study, and not by their parents. That was life under communism. You didn’t have a choice. The women were sent to school to study tomatoes and both have master’s degrees in horticulture and are professors at the university. These women are beyond brilliant.

I pressed on asking them about choices and what they would have done differently in their life and their careers. They didn’t have an answer. They had never dreamed of anything else. They just did. Now after having written many published articles and being international speakers at horticulture conferences around the globe, these women have become celebrities in their own world, and they didn’t have a choice. Do you day dream too much? What would it take to you to focus on one thing?

It all gets back to the discussion about focus. I find with many of my clients, as well as myself, that we have many facets to our lives and therefore have many different interests. These varying thoughts keep us spinning on the hamster wheel without the ability to stop and get off to head in one direction. We think of this as lack instead of abundance. When in fact, if we do focus, the abundance is astronomical.

Think of this, if you were told. No, let me refrain that, if you were ordered to do one thing (and didn’t fight it); what would it be? Out of all your interests and all the things that you are seemingly good at, what is the one thing that if ordered to do, you would forge ahead, full force and get it done? One thing? What it is?

Full of love and wonder,

Merry Lynch

P.S. Want to take a break from too much daydreaming and learn to stream line your thoughts and ambitions? Then check out the upcoming Group Mastermind by clicking below!