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F.O.C.U.S. Time: Decisions, decisions

Diana Jaworski
Sentinel columnist
Posted 5/21/23

This was an ordinary day. Waking up and readying myself for work. The sun was shining, and birds were already chirping.

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F.O.C.U.S. Time: Decisions, decisions


This was an ordinary day. Waking up and readying myself for work. The sun was shining, and birds were already chirping. Little did I know that this particular morning, I would live through a terrifying encounter.

I began to drive and a few minutes into my drive in the distance I noticed something moving back and forth in the middle of the road. What was that? Driving nearer, this critter seemed panicked while cars were driving by. If you drive in our area, you know exactly what it was… a squirrel.

This little fella attempted to reach the other side of the road but soon found itself in the middle of chaos and confusion.

Please make up your mind and get on either side of the road before you get run over!

Unfortunately, it was still deciding what to do as I approached. My heart was beating faster as my stress level rose. I held on to the steering wheel tightly because I sensed something horrible was about to happen and I would have no control of the situation.

The vivid picture I took away from that encounter was that the squirrel appeared to be confused — whether to cross the street or head back in the direction for which it came. I presume it could have stayed comfortably near his home where it was safe. But the reason this squirrel risked crossing the road, no one will ever know. Simply put, it felt the necessity to cross.

I remember about 20 years ago when I decided to become a public speaker. I wanted to travel and see the world, but my budget would not allow it. I tapped into my skills, talents, and resources and decided to learn to become a public speaker with no formal training. I studied and applied myself to learn all I could to prepare myself to help encourage and provide the necessary guidance to aid others in their personal growth journey from the public speaking platform on stage.

When I shared my vision with others, these were some of the responses: you are not educated enough; you do not have what it takes; it is a dangerous world out there; you have not published a book; no one will call you! Regardless, I made the decision to take a risk and put myself out there because my passion was greater than my fear. As I took the risk, I put myself in the middle of failing and learning from my experience. I was determined to keep going and keep growing. I felt like I was going to be run over several times, and it would have been easier to return to my comfort zone, but that would not be fulfilling my purpose. So, repeatedly I made the decision to cross the road and take a RISK:

R – Realize that the comfort zone is a danger zone. Staying comfortable and living in a routine may be safe but it will not help in your personal growth journey. Take risks and reap rewards of self-awareness, courage, faith, strong mindset, and a host of other positive attributes that strengthen your character. The danger is living comfortably reaps content and laziness of which will never assist in your personal development.

I – Imagine how different your life will be if you try. History shows people who dared defy naysayers and pursued their dream because their imagination encouraged them to not give up. Just ask Thomas Edison, Vincent Van Gogh, George Lucas, Harland David Sanders, (your name here) just to name a few who found themselves in the middle of the road filled with challenges but kept going.

S – Stare fear in the face. Life has its challenges and difficulties. Stand up to them with courage and determination. Practice being uncomfortable. Decide to overcome this by gaining knowledge and understanding the matter at hand. Plan for the best course of action and move forward without wavering.

K – Keep going. Doubts, fears, discouragement, and negative people will attack. They will say “Don’t do it!” or “you can’t do it.” Continue to reinforce in your mind the opposite. A person with a growth mindset will believe in success before they see success. Do not lose striving towards the immense potential within you. The world is waiting!

I took a risk when there were more reasons not to. The rewards were marvelous as I experienced meeting amazing people and traveling to novel places as a public speaker. However, knowing I was making a difference in people’s lives became the driving force throughout my travels. The squirrel may have its reasons to cross the road, but can I blame it? I had my reasons to go after my dreams and what a wonderful adventure it has been!

Diana Jaworski, F.O.C.U.S. Coaching Services, is a certified coach, teacher, trainer and speaker with Maxwell Leadership Certified Team. Learn more about personal growth by visiting her website at


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