Originally posted on Facebook HERE
We make decisions every day. What to wear, what to eat, what to buy, what to sell… every day is a series of small decisions. Even the small decisions affect our lives – if you decide to eat a quart of ice cream every day right before going to bed, that will have a long term effect on your health. So will deciding to run 5 miles every day. But every once in a while we have to make a decision we know will affect everything going forward. Retire or not retire?… ask her to marry me or no?… relocate or stay where we are?… stay together or ask for a divorce?… These are big life changing decisions. When faced with one of these, our instinct sides most favorably with staying with what we are already doing in most cases. It’s basically always easier to do nothing than to do something, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the right choice. That’s the thing about decisions like these – you have to leave the old way behind without any guarantees the new way will be better. Let’s say you’re unhappy with your relationship and considering asking for a divorce, but you’ve been together a long time, been through a lot and maybe even have children together. That decision can be fraught with emotion. You can go back and forth in your mind with all the plusses and minuses – your heart is sad because you really don’t want to be with your partner anymore, but you have a house, and kids, and a pet, and stuff, and the idea of tearing it all apart in more daunting than the idea of starting anew. Where would you live? Who gets the dog? What would the kids think? And – would my new life, all alone, be any better?… these major life-changing decisions come with a full arsenal of mental gymnastics. It can consume you. And often, whatever the decision to be made is – it’s not clear cut, and at some point you have to decide whether just sticking with what you know is best, or taking a leap of faith. Sometimes you just “know” what to do. There are times like that as well, when you just know it’s time to retire, or change jobs, or relocate… that makes a decision like this much easier. But often we will reach a crossroads in life and you have to pick a side and it’s not that clear. When I left my job in 2006 as a Realtor to become a financial advisor it wasn’t clear at all. It took me three years to build my real estate business to where I had it at the time I left. And I was leaving because I thought the new job had better potential, even though I loved being a Realtor. But there were no guarantees. And it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Scary as hell when I made it, but I looked inside my heart and it just felt right. Not only that, but when I came home from work one day to tell my wife what I was thinking – in my mind I figured she would think I was nuts since she saw how hard I worked to become one of the top Realtors in the area… to throw all that away and start something new seemed crazy to me… she said “I could see that”… not what I expected, but her intuition was this might be a good move for us – and that was sixteen years ago. It’s always easier to do nothing. It’s not always the best choice, though. We create our futures with the decisions we make, small and large. Sometimes the magic falls when we look within, and take that leap. Sometimes when we look within we can clearly see it isn’t time to move at all. But when we make decisions based on faith over fear we’ll always move in the right direction, whatever direction that is.