Around every election season, tightly wound candidates and their sleep-deprived campaign staff-ers shake hands, hand out
pins and literally herd unsuspecting citizens (some unsure if their even registered to vote) through the doors of the voting center to exercise their right to vote. One statement reigns as the ultimate closing argument in their impassioned pitches. Only one statement could stop an indifferent citizen dead in their tracks and get them to tie the collar on their neck and hand the leash over to the campaign rep.
“Decisions are made by the ones who show up.”
That quote is attributed to everyone from Benjamin Franklin to Woody Allen to Martin Sheen playing President Jed Bartlett in “The West Wing.” Whatever the attribution, the quote is true and a great reminder as we continue to plod through an election year. Beyond the its venerated regard in the political arena, though, this statement can guide us to stake our claim and to cement our legacy in this life.
“You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” In the same way, you are condemned to the hard scrabble existence of the unrepresented or unheard if you don’t even position yourself to be in the room where the decisions are being made. You might not be making the decision, you might not always be heard, but just being able to say, “I was there” is enough to empower and inspire you to be present for more decisions.
Remember, “History is written by victors.” In everything you do, everywhere you find yourself, you must join yourself to winners and victors because when the history book are written, the pens are in their hands. No one goes up to the losers and ask, “You were just defeated, how should this moment be remembered?”
So, when you have a choice to either press your way, defy the odds, withstand the opposition to force yourself in the door to the room where leaders make decisions, or to retreat in fear and doubt, giving in to negativity and pessimistic thoughts about yourself and your future, chose to break past your past and walk through that door to be a part of that glorious troupe who will invent, create, innovate, dominate, and ultimately write the future by making history.