You’re trying to figure out how to answer a question but you simply can’t. There are options and then, there are more options. You can’t eliminate a single one because they all seem so good, feel so good but at the same time, you know you can’t take them all. Well, I know what it feels like so I have made a framework which you can use to make decisions when you are on the fence.
Here are 3 ways to make the tough decisions when you are sitting on the fence:
1. From chaos comes order but from order comes chaos
Life has a great sense of humor and by that, I mean that life is not a straight line, but a continuous circle where the journey is the one that matters. So you can, and probably will, end up at the same place where you started but you will be a different person. Your motivation will be different, your reasons for doing and being will be different and the way (and why) you do or don’t certain things will be different.
With this in mind, order will come only from chaos but that order won’t last. It will become chaos again and that chaos will become order again… you get the point. The journey is the one that matters because that is where you grow.
If you are on the fence right now, consider where you currently are on the journey. If you are currently in order, it’s time for chaos or some turbulence. Knowing this, you should take the option which brings you chaos in life. That might be a big move to another city, starting your own business or basically anything that upsets your life (makes it more chaotic).
If you are currently in chaos, it’s time for order so you should take the option which brings order in your life. That might be staying (and committing) to that relationship, making that habit last or not travelling for 100 days in a year. Remember, both of these are needed for growth in life and both of them will pass. You just have to take the one which is next in line.
“Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.” – Dale Carnegie
2. Simply do what is before the word “but” (even if it makes you hungry)
If you ever need to make a decision and you use the word “but,” you should simply do the thing you said before the word “but.” I had an option to work for one year for a non-profit a couple of years ago BUT the salary was almost non-existent (50 EUR/month).
I knew that it won’t be enough and that I will probably be hungry by doing that for a year but, it was about working for something I believed in. So my option was: “I believe in the vision and I want to work on that BUT if I do that, I won’t have enough money to buy food.”
So I did what I told you above – I chose the option before the “but.” And yes, I was hungry because there were days where I didn’t even have money to buy bread. I lost 23 kgs (50 lbs) in 6 months because I couldn’t always eat.
How did I justify this to myself? I simply got lean and that was great because I managed to reframe hunger into something beneficial for me (getting lean). So if you have an option and there is a “but,” just do the thing before the word “but.” It will make your life simple BUT not easy.
3. Do what is in your 1%
This is something Mark Manson talks about in his work. You can divide everything there is in this world in two categories: Things you don’t care about and things you do care about. Things you don’t care about should take around 99% of the things happening in the world and around you. It means that you don’t care that your neighbor didn’t say hello this morning or that your muffins got only one chocolate sprinkle instead of two or that you are wearing a white shirt instead of a blue one for the family reunion.
It means that you don’t care about the things that are not crucial to you. They are completely meaningless and you are indifferent (flexible) towards them. And then, there are the things that you actually care about.
This should be only around 1% of the things in the world and around you. These are just a couple of things you are willing to live for and also willing to die for. This concerns your life vision, your dreams and your life’s meaning and existence.
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn
So when you have a decision to make, consider if the thing you are making a decision on is something you care about (1% of everything) or something you don’t care about (99% of everything). I don’t care if I wear a red, blue or black shirt or if I will walk to work or take a taxi/share ride or if I will take a vacation in Croatia, Spain or Greece. I’m totally indifferent toward those things.
But what I care about is my writing and the quality of my work – there is no compromise there. This way you save your energy for decisions that matter in your life, that 1% which you actually care about.
Do you struggle to make decisions? If so, which one of these perspectives will you implement to help you? Let us know in the comments below!