just make a decision
Everybody goes through those stages in life where they say, “I don’t know what to do.” You can go through them at any age or your whole life - and how fun is that?
I have been in the “I don’t know” position many times. And there are a lot of things you can do to figure it out.
Take a personality test. Read some books about career paths. Read other people’s inspiring stories. Meditate. Visualize.
These are great, and I have effectively used many of these as helpers to figure out my next steps in life, but in all reality, the best way to move forward is to make a fucking decision.
Every day you put one foot in front of the other, and it miraculously leads you to the pastry shop on the corner. Win. I had to learn that a decision is not a be-all and end-all. It’s one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t need to be the perfect answer to your life’s purpose. It just needs to move you away from where you are now.
I have been through many career changes, and many “I don’t know’s.” I have changed my mind a lot, and to some people, it looks like I’m just bouncing through life without a fucking clue of what I’m doing. Well guess what. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I don’t care anymore. I’m getting closer.
Making decisions is a great way to learn about yourself. You can learn what you like or dislike, learn what’s really important to you, or learn about who you are as a person by making one decision.
Making that decision will also allow you to make other decisions that were not previously available to you.
During my life I’ve decided to become a missionary which somehow led me to become a wedding photographer which made me realize two things: that I’d rather live on the West Coast, and I’d rather be a fashion photographer which led me to move to New York which made me realize I’d rather be a writer and rather live on the West Coast again.
I never really had a clear picture of my perfect life. And I don’t think you ever need to have that. But right now, I know myself so much better. I have a clearer picture of how I would like my life to look, and I owe it to sending myself through a myriad of careers and states. This means my decisions are getting more and more precise.
I used to be paralyzed by making the right decision and paralyzed by worrying about regret. I hear people say “no regrets” (or “no ragrets” if you’re that tattoo guy), and my first thought is “are you a pychopath?” I never understood how that could be a serious possibility or a serious philosophy of life. I mean of course you must regret something!
I have a lot of regrets and that used to make me feel hesitant to make decisions. Until I recently reflected on my life and realized that the only reason I am where I am is because I made a lot of regrets. My regrets have led me to where I am now. And I love it.
Recently I have been trying to look at these failed decisions not as failures, but as information on where I really need to go. These regrets are valuable hints while I figure out the maze of my life.
One imperfect decision at a time leads to your perfect life.