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This blog title is no joke.

It’s fundamentally philosophical.

It’s an edict.

It’s an aphorism in disguise.

It’s actually something I witnessed.

Here’s some context: This quote came from mouth of a mentor of sorts—an older guy who has achieved a cool success but without any battle scars. He usually doesn’t wear socks. California is his sales territory. It’s adding up, right?

So at a holiday party a year or two ago, we were sitting together when the waitress came over to ask us what we wanted for dessert. We had two choices  from the menu. I answered the waitress dutifully: “Chocolate mousse.” Then he answered. Or, actually, he asked: “Do you have chocolate ice cream?” That’s when I looked at my menu thinking “How did I miss that?! I’d rather have chocolate ice cream too!”

Turns out, I didn’t miss it. It wasn’t on the menu.

After the waitress left, I jumped on him in a jokingly authoritative way “Hey, what gives you the right to ask for what you want?! You should adhere to the rules like the rest of us.”

After some back and forth banter—great entertainment for the rest of the table—the dust settled and our desserts arrived. Everyone at the table had what they ordered from the menu. My friend was eating what he wanted.

The take away is clear—and it’s a real energizer: in life, you don’t have to pick from the choices presented to you. Just ask yourself: “What do I really want?”

Life will never be the same.