We have only two choices, and each one ends in yes or no.
That’s it. Sounds awfully simplistic, I know. But all of that back and forth reasoning, listing pros and cons, polling all your friends–in the end, amounts to a yes or no. Like Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” You go for it. Or you don’t. All that gray in between is a dance, a flirtation with the yes or no. I’m not saying it’s easy to think in black and white space. But cutting to the chase moves you to new and better places faster. And if it’s not the right place; you simply move again.
Because think about it. Isn’t it equally difficult to spin in circles as you carefully think through every possible outcome? What is all that thinking for? I’ve read business articles on decision making, like how top CEOs at the world’s largest companies call the shots. Believe it or not–they go with their gut…then reverse engineer the support for this direction. The sign of a good leader is not one who is always right. It’s one who can swiftly and adamantly decide.
I’m not the best decision maker at all. I do ruminate. I researched villas in Tuscany up until the day before I signed the lease here. I checked flights to Bermuda. And flights to Africa where I could’ve joined a friend on safari. None of those choices would’ve sucked–but what I really wanted was what I have right now. Serenity, a beautiful view and me-time. I knew it from the start. And the second I saw this house, I got excited. It was instant and felt right. Until I second guessed myself and started rethinking every option again. In the end, I came full circle. And all those nights I cross-referenced Expedia, Orbitz, Sabbatical Homes, Air B&B, etc., I could’ve been reading, painting, having red wine and potato chips or anything else on my me-time to-do list.
I am learning–slowly, but surely–to stop wasting time deciding.
When I quit my job in December, I gave up my annual bonus, a week’s paid holiday time off and a quiet sneak out at the end of the year. But the moment of yes came out from under me on a Wednesday in a grueling 5:00 p.m. meeting. I was done. The way I see it, I wasn’t three weeks premature, I was nine months too late. I started in March 2013 and had promised myself I’d give it a year. I knew when I took the job that it wasn’t the right thing for me. But I also knew I could undo it, if it got that unbearable. And that’s exactly what I did–albeit after months of going back and forth trying to find the right time.
There is no right time in life. There is a yes or a no.
I find that ultimately, my gut knows. My instincts tell me, that feels right or this feels incredibly off. I can’t pin point the reasons why. I just know. I look back on my life (I have actually made a list) and think of the decisions I fully embraced and the ones I struggled against. Which ones were easy and which ones kept me up at night. It’s natural to question, to challenge and to feel disappointment when there’s something attractive about each side of the coin. Nothing is perfect but solid ground is better than treading water.
Sometimes the hesitation comes from fear of the unknown. Will I fail? Will it cause me to miss out on X? But think of this way. So what if you fail–to try is the braver path. So what if you miss out on X–maybe Y is even more amazing. The fact of the matter is that life is uncertain, always. And when it comes to the right answers for ourselves, there is only how you feel about it. No right or wrong. Just a yes or a no, for the moment. And every one thereafter.
Make sense, yes or no?