For many people this creates a feeling of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being the odd one out and being criticized and ridiculed. Seth Godin has a very poignant explanation of this in his book Tribes. Fear has been a topic of many self-improvement books. It has been explained as a primal response to immediate threats, where the sympathetic nervous system puts the body into a state of super vigilance and literally makes decisions over your conscious mind. It is a primitive means of survival that is now all but defunct in our modern society. We no longer have the same kind of predators we once had that would kill us in an instant, unless you have a lot of type A enemies that own guns.
It has taken me many years of racking my brain to figure out even a vague example of what my ideal future can look like. I simply have too many interests and wandered in too many directions. My knowledge and experience I believe I can use to help others as well with this blog. It is important to me because the same people I wish to be in dialogue with are those that are constantly seeking improvement and learning as well.
So why is decision making so hard with people when they finally have decided what they really would like to spend their time on? My argument is that people think it is actually the decision that matters.
My argument is that the decision doesn’t matter.
It is how you treat and live with the decision that matters.
When you involve yourself with something, you can be in it from 0 to 100%. Sure, you made the decision and you were confident about it, but a little while after, it begins to falter and you begin questioning yourself. Or you started off at 50% (which is equal to blah, but I can live with it) and after a short time your commitment grew to 100%. This is an example for something like a job and how your interest in the job waxes and wanes as time goes on.
But the decision to do that said thing never really matters. People will universally dislike a piss poor janitor as much as a piss poor CEO. A non-interested person is not interesting and a super motivated janitor is somewhat bizarre but interesting nonetheless. My point is is that the follow up is what counts, what you do after some of the pressure is lifted. So the decision really doesn’t count.
Once you have it out of your mind that a decision can absolutely ruin your life, it’s time to start sticking to those decisions, because they are your portals to wherever you want to go. They are the trampolines – it’s up to you how far you want to jump. Decisions will always be followed by other decisions. If you have an active interest in your life and you follow your decisions, they will become more interesting and more important every time. This makes life really fun to live.
Wait, did I just say decisions really don’t matter? Of course they do! Every decision matters! You are entirely responsible for every decision you make. George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, Eminem, nor Lady Gaga can make you do anything. But it really doesn’t matter if you decide to be a doctor, a CEO, a janitor, or a teacher if those ideas are in line with your own idea of a quality life. You can find massive success with all of them. You must stand out, however.
This really isn’t a review of Seth Godin’s book Tribes, but as it is the most recent self-development book I’ve read, I have to say something about it. The main point of the book is that the real movers and shifters of today (and those that enjoy their lives the most) are the heretics, namely, those that are proactive enough to choose to be a leader, and for the purpose of helping others without searching for profit, change the world.
A reocurring theme I have found in blogging sites and now I am beginning to see in books like Tribes is the idea is that there are two kinds of successful people, those that succeed inventing their game, and those that succeed by phenomenally playing the preconceived game of life.
I am telling you right now that you are entirely capable of being successful in what really gives your heart pleasure while you may find difficulty being successful in something you are 50% involved in. This is the real challenge. Often the success of one’s life comes from an atypical source, which in the end becomes the stuff of legends. Unlikely success stories are the most inspiring.
Summarizing these three posts:
- Stop the noise in your life. Focus on what makes you happy. You can one day use it to help millions of people around the world, but you must be first calm and self-centered.
- Write down your goals and your dreams in life. Make mistakes in searching for them. Connections will begin popping up in unlikely places. This is a sign that you a progressing.
- Make the decision to be 100% committed to your decisions and if you cannot be happy with that, find something else. Act fearlessly, lean into your fears and you will find obstacles crumbling all around you. Every obstacle is an illusion, every fear an ancient ghost of our minds, pathetically out of date. Take control of your mind.
After deciding, act. There are no shortcuts. You will either die, or live that much better of a life.
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