I had a simply beautiful email from a reader who enjoyed my post on making decisions. She even visited me at the show I’m doing this week, and we talked a little more.
She said, “So how do I know I’ve made the right decision??”
I told her she would know, because it would feel right in her heart.
But right after she left, I felt bad. Because that wasn’t a complete answer. Sometimes we’re in such turmoil, even those other options don’t feel like they offer much clarity.
What I should have said was, just do something.
Do one thing different. Take one step toward the goal of your dreams.
I have a friend who can’t decide if she wants to pursue a line of study she abandoned years ago. It’s too late to go back to college, right? What would she use another degree for? What will she do with it?? (See the either/or thing?)
We have several colleges in the area, many with continuing education classes. I suggested she simply take one course.
She could take a class, and see how it goes. Heck, she can take as many classes as she wants! Who says she “has to” continue, or “has to” change careers, or “has to” do anything with it. Maybe it’s okay to just take a class, or continue to study something that gives you joy. “Taking chemistry classes can be another one of your hobbies!” I told her.
I believe what will happen is, as she moves across this “different stream”, she’ll encounter new people, new conversations, and new opportunities.
She may choose to embrace those opportunities–or not. Maybe she’ll simply find everything in her life is just fine, and now she has a new interest that makes her happy. Or maybe she find a new career opportunity, or simply a new friend. Maybe after one chemistry class, she’ll realize it was fun, but she’s simply done with it. It’s all good.
A decision to do something–or even a decision to do nothing, oddly enough–simply puts you on a different path. It may or may not be better, but you can still always decide something else.
I drilled that into my kids (and I’m hoping it sticks): You always have options. You will learn and grow from any of them, very few will be totally wrong, and que sera and all that.
Use your options. It will get you out of the deadlock of either/or, this-or-that, yes-or-no. And once you start moving forward, your way will become more clear.
(If this post is not coherent, please remember I’m on Day 7 of a nine-day show!!)