Will you look back on life and say “I wish I had” or “I’m glad I did”?
Taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves is crucial to our success journey. We shouldn’t shy away from opportunities that require us to step out of our comfort zone, yet we often do. Are you the kind of person who is a little more reserved and conservative, and in hindsight find yourself thinking “I wish I had”? Or are you more courageous and inquisitive, always striving for new ideas and experiences and frequently experience the thought of “I’m glad I did”?
When my husband first walked into Greg Aldridge’s State Farm office 4 years ago, I don’t think he had any idea what a huge moment in his life it would turn out to be. He was looking to get a new quote on his auto insurance and walked into Greg’s office with the goal of saving a few dollars. It just so happened that this was the first day of Greg’s ownership of this State Farm agency. Greg is a third generation State Farm agent, who had been working for the corporate office in Oklahoma, but recently purchased the book of business from the previous owner who was retiring. As my husband entered the “office” he had to stop and make sure he had gone into the correct building, as Greg had just started remodeling the entire space, which looked more like a building site than a professional establishment.
Jamie put his current insurance policy on Greg’s desk and asked if Greg could do it cheaper. Greg said that he could definitely get a lower priced policy for Jamie, but also said that it wouldn’t be worth anything if an accident were to occur. Instead of taking the easy sale, Greg offered us the chance to meet with him, and this is definitely one of the strongest “I’m glad I did” experiences that we have had. Neither of us knew anything about auto insurance as our previous policies were from online only providers and the only thing that mattered was price. This was a very naive approach to something so important, and we will forever be grateful for the knowledge that Greg has shared with us.
In our meeting with Greg, he first asked questions to find out more about our lives and what mattered to us, so that he could create insurance policies that would adequately cover our loved ones if something were to happen. We ended up leaving Greg’s office with auto, home-owners, and life insurance policies, and continue to develop both our professional and personal relationship with Greg, his family, and his incredible team. We both vividly remember Greg introducing the idea of “I’m glad I did, rather than “I wish I had” in our initial engagement, and this is something that we both frequently think about when making big decisions in our lives.
For some reason this isn’t the only time that we have experienced the “I’m glad I did” feeling in the area of 87th and Pflumm in Lenexa. On February 5th, 2010 on a cold winter’s night, I entered Tanners Bar and Grill for a couple of post-work drinks with a colleague. Little did I know that later that night I would meet the man who is now my husband and father of our two incredible sons. I wasn’t overly excited about venturing out in the snow, and Jamie almost went to Callahans on the opposite side of the street, but for some reason we both entered the same establishment and will be forever grateful that we both made the decisions that we did. Life is full of moments where you have tough decisions to make, and my advice to you is to always think about the incredible things that can happen when you get out of your comfort zone and are open to new opportunities.
Everyone in their life frequently uses the phrases “I’m glad I did” or “I wish I had”, sometimes without even realizing it. If you think about it for 30 seconds I imagine there will be several scenarios like this that will immediately enter your mind. You might have planned a vacation and declined travel insurance, only to have to reschedule your vacation costing you hundreds of dollars in change fees. It might have been stretching the budget to go and visit a sick loved which turned out to be the last time you saw them. It might have been spending that extra $19.95 per month for OnStar which came in handy when your spouse and children found themselves stranded and needed mechanical assistance. Or it might have been that time you finally plucked up the courage to leave your dead-end job behind, and pursue your dreams of owning your own business.
Next time you find yourself at a crossroads in your life and are faced with a difficult decision to make, think about all of the positives that could come from getting out of your comfort zone. What’s the biggest “I’m glad I did” experience of your life? What is the biggest disappointment that you have experienced where you have found yourself thinking “I wish I had”? Life is full of difficult decisions, but next time you are faced with one, think about all of the incredible things that could happen if you get out of your comfort zone. I know that you are all thinking “I’m glad I did” after reading this article! Until next time, Expect the Exceptional in everything that you do.