Hello SOTGC community,
Decisions, decisions. We’re faced with them every day. It starts from the moment we wake up. Deciding whether or not to hit the snooze button, deciding what to wear or even deciding how we’ll spend our day. Will it be productive? Fun? Exhausting? The same ol’ same ol’? Most of the time, we don’t consciously think about it. We just do it. But sometimes a decision can be more complex and sometimes it can feel impossible.
A few years ago, I had an opportunity to go back to Corporate America in an Executive Leadership position. The money was great. I thought I made great money before, but this was the kind of offer that most people wouldn’t even consider turning down. It came with a lot of perks, a lot of opportunity and a lot of responsibility. I’m not one to back down from a challenge (although there have been times when I’ve certainly considered it), so I pursued it.
As I learned more about the job, it became more and more enticing. But it also meant the demands of the job would force me to leave my coaching business. I wasn’t making enough money to comfortably cover my expenses. In fact, it was an extremely stressful, heart-pounding panicked time for me. Taking this job would have solved everything, right?
Well, not everything. You see, I love to work. I always have. But I never felt fulfilled when I worked in Corporate. It was like being in a relationship where everything looks right, but you don’t love the person. So while the money would have solved all of my financial problems, it wouldn’t have solved everything.
I struggled with the decision. I thought I was crazy for not jumping in with both feet. Yet, there I was spending more time figuring out how to say no rather than yes. I made lists, asked for advice, meditated and even consulted the good ol’ reliable Magic 8 Ball (Desperate – Party of 1?).
During this process I had an opportunity to have a private meeting with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Being in his presence is everything you’d want it to be and more, but that’s another post for another time. I hung on his every word as he talked about how compassion, concern for others’ well-being and cherishing one’s self eliminates suffering. I knew what I had to do.
I called the person who would become my new boss and blurted out, “I just met with the Dalai Lama and I can’t move forward with this job…(at this point I remember thinking, “This man probably thinks I’m a Fruit Loop.”). We talked about it and he couldn’t have been more kind or supportive. I said, “I know this job is an opportunity of a lifetime and I know I sound crazy for saying no, but…”
I said no. I should also tell you, my almost boss couldn’t have been more understanding or supportive. In fact, his last words to me were, “If you ever change your mind, promise me you’ll call me before you call anyone else.”
I’ve never regretted that decision. Sure, there were moments I questioned it (during those panicked times), but I never regretted it. And you know what happened? My business picked up and the money followed.
What do you do when you have a decision to make? Are you decisive? Do you rely on your intuition? Are you a fact-gatherer? Or are you a combo platter like me who gathers all the facts and pays attention to what feels right?
When I am struggling to make a decision, I rely on this quote from Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul:
“A responsible choice is a choice for which you are willing to accept the consequences.”
The next time you’re faced with a decision, try it out. Consider the consequences and what you’re willing to accept. It makes moving forward a lot easier.
Ready to do the work? What’s one decision you’ve been needing or wanting to make? Think about the choices and then the consequences for each. Still can’t make a decision? Try a coin toss. Pay attention the side you HOPE will win.