Thursday, May 11, 2006

Opportunity vs. Temptation - A Decision

Stupid as it may sound it took 5 years for me to figure this one out. Why? Because to me they look exactly the same. God gave me one of those mentoring moments again. For the life of me even when I try to assess the difference they totally escape my by a hair's thickness.

Amidst the research, arguments, bar room fights and analysis of chaos theory, fractal concepts and other spiritual mumbo jumbo... well, I actually didn't do that many. hehehe... It surprises me how I've gone to such lengths to find a semi-lifelong question: "What is the difference between an opportunity and a temptation?"

I broke down and cried out that there is no telling the real deal. Ah, but I was so young and naive then. Fiesty in a cowardly way yet able to jump at baseless conclusions with superhuman precision (Superman will be showing next month. hehehe). How I survived this long is yet another question I have to answer. The impulse of my youthful mind and raging libido has been replaced with a more reckless man yet wise enough to realize the past mistakes didn't bring me here unscathed. It consoles me to realize that some things never change. I'm still the same person who loves peace and stays out of trouble but still giving in the impulse to cause mischief and wanton destruction if the opportunity presents itself.

Ah, opportunity! Or is it temptation? God's sign or the devil's call? I can sum up the difference with one sentence: Opportunties bring you forward to more favorable outcomes while temptations bring you in the same direction only to realize you have dug yourself into a hole.

What is favorable is entirely up to you. One thing is for sure - temptation brings you to a place where you end up saying "SHIT! What now?!" Temptations manifest themselves as opportunities. If you are shortsighted, you may not be able to anticipate the outcome. Suffice it to say that to know the difference is to gain experience. I can't tell you each and every thing that you can probably encounter in your life but if YOU KNOW THROUGH EXPERIENCE then you can go through life with minimal losses.

If you want to know the basic rule of telling the difference just ask these simple questions:
1. Where will this choice take me? Will it be good or bad?

This is where it all starts. I've gone so far as reading about the butterfly effect and chaos theories. One choice determines the outcome for the rest of your life. But the harsh reality to accept is that no matter which way you choose the outcome will never be the same even if you do them all over again. So don't pray to change your mistakes and don't pray to change the past because it's the wrong thing to wish for. If you want to wish for something, wish for making the right decision NOW!

2. If it is good will it stay that way?

If it doesn't then it's a temptation. A short term result for a spur of the moment impulse. This is akin to finding a hot chick in an alley and getting laid for free. Everything has a price! REMEMBER THAT! I know this because I made these mistakes every so often in my younger years. Jumping to decisions; Making quick choices; Choosing girlfriends for the sake of getting some nookie. I paid dearly for these actions. Some I'm still paying up to this day. The price of making mistakes are high. Don't make a lot of them or else you'll end up paying for the rest of your life. We only have on shot in life but you can make it a million if you make a million decisions after that first one. See how many ways you can change your life?

3. If it is bad, can I make that sacrifice? Can I accept the consequence?

If in the long run it will pay itself favorably then what might appear as a temptation is an opportunity for something better. We all have to go through this in life one way or the other. We are all tempted to keep something in our lives. Sometimes we never give it up for something better. Eventually, we all have to. Once you make that decision it is never easy and it never will. NEVER pray for it to be. Instead pray to decide quickly.

So there you have it. Five years of my life I have dedicated myself to finding the answer. While others may have found the answer in just a few seconds, I took my time to ponder it. The only way for me to understand it was to experience both everyday since then. Knowing the answer is different from seeing the answer. I learned it through what I have seen and what I have felt. Then one day the answer just came to me when I looked back at what I have gone through.

Knowledge is costly as well. I would have never known if I only saw one thing happen to me. Lots of things have unravelled and cascaded into everything I saw today. My mistakes, my success and everything mediocre.

I came, I saw, I understood. This is life. This is how we control it.

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