If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. – Rush
I have a very common affliction, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) syndrome, so it doesn’t surprise most people that I jump on opportunities when they come about, no matter how crazy they are. I’ve driven from Boston to New York City (4 hour drive) for a lunch date with a friend – it made for a 12 hour day for a lunch, but I wouldn’t have missed it! I have also made some very difficult decisions which were life altering for my entire family. I have very little trouble taking action regardless if others understand or agree with my decisions at the time.
People often seek me out because I am adventurous and take risks. There are a lot of fun decisions I have made that excite people, and there are a few really tough decisions that many people fear to make. They want to know how I calculate the decisions I make and what helps me to make some of the major, and sometimes unpleasant changes.
Recently I have been working with a couple of different people who are at life crossing points. Each have entirely different stories and situations and are in vastly different age groups, but I believe the underlying problem is identical and one faced often by many people when coming to a major decision. Neither of these people have been able to make a decision. To decide is to cut off a possibility, or as I’ve used in the past, “ to burn the boat.” Each person’s decision will be a life change, and change is scary for most people, and major change can be paralyzing for some.
Most times when making a big change people are afraid of making the wrong decision and not being able to go back. I understand this and it is a real and very valid fear. Great care must be taken in analyzing the situation and weighing out all the elements within the decision. Careful consideration is a key step, however, when it lasts over a long period of time I believe it can cause more pain than it avoids.
Ultimately, my concern is not really about coming to an understanding about what to do, because most people are quite thoughtful of major decisions before coming to conclusions. The real issue, and I believe why they end up with me, is that once a conclusion is made, not taking action on that conclusion is like sitting on a picket fence post! It is painful, not only to the person who has concluded yet not taken any action, but also to whomever else that decision may affect.
Action must follow conclusion. Ultimately, all parties involved will benefit from at least a clear new direction, whether desired or not. If it’s a job change, the boss/company will be able to begin searching for a qualified replacement, if it’s a relationship, both parties are given an opportunity to work on themselves individually and potentially find a more suitable mate.
If one focuses on the benefits of a decision, even the tough ones, it gives hope and promise to the end of the current situation. It allows the end of anything to be the beginning of something. I’m not trying to diminish the tragedy of some of the decisions that need to be made; what I am trying to do is share that almost every decision will have both good and bad effects. Often times people are so focused on the bad that they have trouble taking action on something and usually worse situations result.
Making decisions, both joyful and painful, are opportunities to live true to yourself. I firmly believe that when we act in ways that are not true to ourselves, our values and our spirit, we fail. You honor yourself and others by living your life truly, and sometimes, that means making a tough decision. As the saying goes, it may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
Wishing you the courage to make the decisions that keep you true to yourself.