I am always a bit perplexed when people agonize over making decisions. I get the feeling that most people view decision making as irreversible, with pre-packaged outcomes, so they fear that “taking a go at it” will ruin their life.
It doesn’t ruin your life, it is your life.
This reminds me of the artificial intelligence TV series called Westworld, where the fantasy themepark’s robotic “hosts” are created to live the exact same life, over and over again, with no chance to alter their path as the storyline evolves.
Real life is different.
Big decisions like college selection, careers and relationships are important moments in time. But you know what? Each decision simply opens up a new world of possibilities for new decisions based on new information.
Life is a dynamic process full of constant twists and turns, and no one decision makes or breaks a life, unless the person believes that it does.
For example, the stress one places on selecting between two good colleges is unnecessary. Why? Because most of what a person learns from the college experience has more to do with the people you meet, and the small conversations, windows of opportunities and decisions that come from those human engagements.
Ask yourself this simple question: In advance, did you predict or plan the moment you would meet your spouse, establish your career, or stumble upon your best investment opportunity? Probably not.
My wife and I met at a local “happy hour” that we attended with our separate work friends. Both of us knew what we were looking for in a partner, and immediately recognized the wonderful possibilities. The decision to go to the happy hour that evening was insignificant at the time.
I could have never imagined a prosperous 19 year career at a large bank before I came upon this opportunity, but it fit my long term goals and aligned with my strengths and interests. My decision to attend that banking recruiting social on-campus was insignificant at the time.
My best investments have emerged from life itself, specifically the conversations with smart people and observations about daily life. I can’t even remember why I decided to have any of those individual conversations at the time.
None of these pivotal moments were planned…but absolutely none of this would have happened without life planning.
One decision simply opens up the door for many more decisions.
This is why self awareness and planning is so very important. Setting goals and knowing your strengths and interests is critical, because they create the inertia and life guidelines that are required to be in position to recognize and seize opportunities as they arise. Blog Post: Two Questions That Lead To Life Satisfaction
So next time you face a BIG decision, relax, and as Nike said…”Just Do It”.