Choose the destiny that will make your dreams come true.
Nearly sixteen years ago—in January 2001—I headed deep into the Rocky Mountains to ride snowmobiles with a friend and business colleague.
After riding for only a few short hours, my snowmobile broke through some ice. Shortly after, my colleague’s snowmobile had a mechanical problem. We had no choice but to try to find our way back to the road, so we began to walk. However, the snow was so deep that we couldn’t walk, we had to crawl. We crawled all day. I thought we were close to a road…but as midnight approached we still hadn’t seen any signs of it. It was getting very cold, so we dug a snow cave into the side of the mountain. We hovered inside the cave, trying to stay alive for the night. When the sun finally came out, we rolled out of the cave and started crawling toward the road again.
We crawled all day, but that evening at about eight p.m. a storm rolled in and it started to snow heavily, so we dug another cave and got in. By this time, I was getting very weak. I began to ask myself, “Am I going to make it through this alive?” I began to think about my life. “How am I doing?” I thought to myself, “I could be dead tomorrow. What have I done with my life? Has it been good?” These thoughts come readily when you are lying in a snow cave hugging yourself to stop the shaking while simultaneously doing all you can not to fall asleep because you know if your body powers down, you will never wake up again.
By the time the sun came out the next morning I knew we only had a few more hours to live. If they didn’t find us soon, we would be dead. A thought came to me: “Wouldn’t it be best to stay in the cave?” They hadn’t found us for two days; they probably won’t find us now. We hadn’t found our way out so we probably never would. I began to accept that I was going to die. But then another thought came to me, “No! You have choice. You have to keep moving.” But then I asked myself, “moving where? I don’t know where I am!” (and yes you start talking to yourself at this point.) But I listened to the first voice and I started moving. Crawling again. We crawled until 2:00pm in the afternoon until we couldn’t go anymore. I leaned against the tree—a large pine. I was leaning underneath the tree waiting to die when I heard the most beautiful sound in the world. Do you know what that is? The unique thumping sounds of the blades of a helicopter chopping through the sky. I was so weak that I couldn’t stand up, but I was thrilled by that sound. I somehow summoned the strength to crawl out from under the tree. Sadly, the helicopter flew right by with no sign of it seeing me and I thought, “That’s it, I am dead.” Then, out of nowhere the helicopter came back! They had spotted us! They found us. We were going to live.
Later, when talking to the pilot, I learned why he spotted us. He said he detected movement from out of the corner of his eye. So, here is the lesson: He saw movement because we moved. He saw movement because we were in that place. If we had stayed in the cave, we would be dead; the pilot would never have seen us. But I made the choice to move. If I had stayed under the tree we would be dead. But I made the choice to move, and the pilot caught that movement.
You have more than one destiny. There are many possibilities for you in the future and you get to choose as you go, but so many people won’t choose. They sit under the tree, or they lie in the snow cave. If you want to be where the helicopter is, you have to move. You have to choose. You have to get up and do something—even when it seems hard or unlikely or maybe even pointless. I hope you make a choice today. I hope it will be a choice based upon character—the choice to stick with a correct decision even after the emotions have passed. I hope that you will choose that in five years you will be better, and stronger, and more successful than you are today. I hope that you make the choices so that in five years you can look back and be doing things that you couldn’t even dream about today! It is all your choice. When you go to bed tonight, choose to dream. When you get up tomorrow, choose to have a great day. When something bad happens to you, choose to see it differently. Choose the destiny that will make your dreams come to life. Whatever happens to you, good or bad, just keep moving.