A Fork in the Road

“A Fork In the Road” is a simple moment when even the smallest decision can lead to spectacular outcomes. You may not recognize it at the time, but looking back, you know it made all of the difference. In fact, it can change everything we know and believe about you. It can change your entire identity and all future successes that come from it.

Don’t believe me yet? Let’s look at some familiar faces. Take Amazon for instance. Amazon revolutionized the way books were sold by becoming the first major online book seller and then later by inventing the Kindle™. They were so successful that the name Amazon was more synonymous with selling books than it was the actual jungle! But Amazon didn’t want to be just be a book seller all its life, so it started selling tons of things.

Yet, changing one’s identity is not as simple as saying you’ll be different or even doing something different and hoping others catch on. No way! Amazon had to do something radical when it recognized its own Fork In the Road, therefore Amazon created Prime. And so, with one decision, Amazon went from merely a bookseller to a revolutionary “everythingseller.”

Blockbuster Video, as an alternative example, was too caught up in the rat race to recognize its own Fork In the Road. Imagine the moment with the then small time CEO of Netflix actually offered to sell the little known service to Blockbuster for a fraction of it’s present day value. The CEO of Blockbuster dismissed it, saying that the internet would never reach such speeds at home to enable the popularity of such a service. Where is Blockbuster today? Oh, that’s right…

When I was in sixth grade, I made one decision while sitting in a hot, sweaty, middle school gymnasium that would not only change the course of my life, but would break an entire cycle for my family. It wasn’t to stream online videos or offer free two-day shipping. It was something simple, something we all do. In fact, at the time, I didn’t even recognize the significance of it. Yet, I later recognized the doors it opened for me; this allowed me to recognize the Forks In the Road that I would encounter later, and my life has never been the same.

As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I’ve been able to do some pretty cool things, and let me tell you, there is opportunity everywhere. We just need to know how to take the path when it comes and then blow it up along the way!

So, where are you going? What are you going to become? Do you really want to change your stars? You can. College is just the first step. What decisions will you make to set yourself up for success the rest of the way? Will you recognize the Fork In the Road when you see it?

Credit // Author: Kevin Smith

Kevin has spent his career encouraging students to discover their purpose and helping them find their leadership path. Kevin has spoken to and trained over 25,000 students, faculty members, and business leaders on various leadership topics including decision-making, multi-generational leadership, personal brand development, and strengths development. He knows that leadership is about making others matter, and is enthusiastic about helping students reach their own leadership goals. Learn more about Kevin’s keynotes at campuspeak.com/smith.