One chance. We get one chance to offer our first response. One chance to listen well. One first impression, one last day, one opportunity to love in how we react.
I’ve heard that even though a person might not remember what you say, they will remember how you made them feel. I’ve been impressed lately with the truth that we often just get one shot at things. The weight of this reality has become painfully apparent to me as I’ve been doing a lot of interviews.
In the grand scheme of things, though, the interview blunder isn’t the place where this truth needs to be heeded the most. No, the place where we need to pay particular attention to our one chance is in our relationships.
Did you behave the way you wanted to behave? Love the way you wanted to love? Or did you react?
It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the moment and all those feelings playing racquetball in your chest, but it’s so important. Sure, you can retract statements and offer an apology and do better, but you can never get that first moment back, and you shouldn’t.
Every moment matters, so we should strive to make the most of them and live our best in each one. I know you’ll fail. I fail a lot, but will we learn from our failure? Will we only stomp our feet and slam the door once? Or will it take a broken car window, broken microwave door, broken doorknob, and broken picture frame to finally get your attention. (I may or may not be speaking from experience here.)
Are you ready for that moment when your best friend says she doesn’t want to talk to you anymore? When your kid tells you she’s dropping out of school to join the circus? When the old flame says I love you or your wife says she’s pregnant?
We can’t be ready for everything, but I think it helps to be aware of the one chance we get to respond in the moments that matter most.
There’s so much strength in that. You get to choose how you respond. Not that emotional rollercoaster inside of you and definitely not what the world says. You get to make the choice.
And it can make all the difference.
It can mean the difference between your child opening up to you or staying silent. This is where friendships grow or begin to die. This is how a husband and wife move on to the next level or are forever trapped in only so far and only so deep.
Think about it. Take time now to think about it because if you don’t, then the first thing that’s going to come to you is that rollercoaster—all those feelings screaming to be heard, and the person you want to be in that moment will be lost.
So, here’s to the one chance! May we make the most of every first moment.