Bruce Heberle

Thinking Out Loud: Life Choices

February 22, 2020

I’ve been thinking about life choices. What do you really want to do in your career? Are you in the right position? Would you choose this career again? Given another opportunity, what would you do differently? What is stopping you from going forward? If you are doing nothing, then moving forward is not possible.

Bruce Heberle
Bruce Heberle

I know none of you made bad choices growing up – well I can’t say that. Life choices give life lessons. Life lessons give life experience. Life experience gives life stories!

Since lent starts this month here is one of my life stories. I attended a private school through the 10th grade and we were required to attend church every morning before school. On Sunday we attended Sunday services. Mix in some holy days of obligation and we were in church a lot!

Well one day, when I was about ten, Dad announced that my brother and I needed to get ready for church. Knowing school was already out and it was not Sunday, I asked why are we going to church? Dad stated: “Stations of the Cross.” I’m thinking there’s another 30 minutes of my life, wasted in church! What a protest my brother and I put up! Since Dad was the county Sheriff, he gave us a choice: jail or church. We took jail. Dad was a man of his word and off we went. We had a ball climbing around the steel bars and on top of the-bull pen. (No prisoners in jail at the time, courthouse open to the public and the jail door unlocked.)

Looking back, sort of like a poor man’s McDonald’s fun house. Obviously not a choice I would make today for myself or for my children. Different times, different circumstances.

Don’t be afraid to answer the door when opportunity knocks. Sometimes it knocks more than once. One of my old hunting buddies was asked how he got such an easy government job working for the water department. He answered, well the first thing I did was answer the want ad after it ran for four weeks in the newspaper! If you keep noticing the same thing over and over and never did before, someone is trying to tell you something. You may not know it, but your life is about to change.

I was bored going to school. I literally did no homework during the four years of high school. Naturally gifted as a student, I graduated 53rd in my class of 68. Walked out of there with a diploma and 1.212 GPA. Obviously, college material!

As a result, I knew the military would be in my future. To kill time until my draft notice came, I started working at a plastics factory, second shift. I was proficient at my job. I hated it. I realized very quickly what I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life and that was to work in that place. Stuck to it for two years, then kind of won the lottery when I found out my lottery number was high enough to not be eligible for the draft!

Now what? Based on my prior academic performance, Dad didn’t think I would be a good candidate for further education. He thought I should continue down this life path, we disagreed to put it mildly. I knew my only chance to better myself was going to college, but I was terrible at school, so I was conflicted. I was afraid of failure, and any success was not guaranteed. I made a choice to take control of my life and went for it. My life changed.

Be the master of your own life. Surprise yourself, go forward and take charge, “…people buy into the vision, before they buy into the leader” – James C. Maxwell.

You should never be comfortable being an anonymous member of the pack. Occasionally become the pack leader, your view and attitude will automatically improve. You may be thinking you are walking alone, that no one thinks like you do. You might be surprised, when you turn around that people are following you! Its your choice to lead or follow.

Make a life choice.