Plan To Be Surprised!

Many of us get stuck on our path in life. What do we want to do? Where do we want to go? What should our vocation be? What career should we embark on?

So many questions. And they’re important questions. The decisions we make have the potential to be life changing. Life changing in 2 ways:

  1. Right Decision. Make the right decision now and we’re set up for life in a career stream that keeps us focussed, that we’re passionate about and provides the job security and financial stability now and in the future. Making a decision that incorporates these factors is, in our mind, absolutely essential.
  2. Wrong Decision. Making the wrong decision now removes the possibility of having a career stream that keeps us focussed, is mundane and does not have job security or, perhaps worse, lacks financial stability in the future. The impact is huge. We cannot make the wrong decision.

If we get it right, life falls in to place. We walk away happy and content – success is within our grasp.

If we get it wrong, we’re condemned to a life of ‘what-ifs’. To wondering what could have been. A life of chasing our own tail and looking over our shoulder. A life of never quite feeling content.

The Third Solution

Is there an alternative? Is there room for error? How do we choose correctly? Perhaps things aren’t quite so black and white. Perhaps there’s a third answer, a third solution.

My book, Perfect Madness, discusses escaping the black and white in the first chapter. In this instance, the pressure on making the correct decision needs to be removed. And it’s actually quite simple – there is no right decision.

The Right Decision

The real answer is, for many, you’ll never know if you made the right decision or what that right decision is. That might make you feel a little anxious. You may have been thinking that I had a magic solution for you. An alternative to the life changing decision of choosing the red or the blue pill. There’s always an alternative to the red or blue pill but you need to choose something – that’s the third solution.

While you might never know, you need to consider all the facts, take advice and then commit. In making a decision, there isn’t a wrong decision. You need to choose one of the paths presented to you and go for it. You need to come up with a plan. Then pick that plan up, put it in gear and drive it hard. Go for it. Commit.

The Size Of The Goal

The decision doesn’t need to a big decision either. Small, short goals are acceptable too. You don’t need to to commit to a lifetime in the Army or to become a brain surgeon. Instead, try signing up as a Reservist or taking a medical course.

What If The Right Decision Is The Wrong Decision?

But what if the choice you made is the wrong decision? What then?

Again, it’s simple. I said earlier that there is no wrong decision. I lied. There is a wrong decision. A wrong decision that will lead to failure.

The wrong decision is a lack of decision. And this is so easily done. It’s so easy to procrastinate over which path you should follow. The implications of your decision are potentially high. As a result, defeating the procrastination and committing is probably the biggest battle that you face here.

But How Will You Know You’ve Made The Right Decision?

Once you’ve committed to be decisive, committed to drawing a line in the sand, to taking that step forward, you need to make sure you decide correctly. The reality is, if you want to dissect the details of your decision, your choice, if you want to collect data and statistically analyse your decision, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

The right decision is in making a decision. It’s your best guess. But it’s not really a guess. You’ve got all your years of experience behind you. You might not think you’re fully qualified to make a potentially life changing decision but, trust me, you are. Your brain has stored a huge amount of data over your life time. It’s going to pull all this together and provide you with the tools, the ability of an artist, to interpret it and make you choose a path that you’re aligned to. If you stray away from your gut, that’s when you’ll make the wrong decision. Make the decision for you – the one that’s right for you, not for someone else.

The Reality Of Choosing Your Path

The reality of all this, if you plot out your future life and/or vocational path, is that, in all likelihood, you won’t arrive at your destination as planned. Some of you will get there sooner, some later. But, the vast majority won’t get there at all.

Why? Plans change. As we proceed along out personal journey in life, life jumps out at us. We have experiences, there are unforeseen events that happen along the way. Some good, some not quite so good. We adjust our plan. Sometimes we do this consciously, sometimes subconsciously – that’s not important. The important part is that we know that our plan will adjust – and that’s ok.

Plan To Be Surprised

As you struggle and procrastinate with your decision of which path to choose, know that your journey along the path is unlikely to look as you planned. For the most part, as you meander off the track, the changes will be for the better. Many of these changes you will foresee along the way. Many of these changes will be a surprise. That’s what makes life so exciting.

There is one criteria for all this to happen. You have to make a decision. You have to be on a path and have a plan for your journey. If you don’t have a plan, the plan can’t change. It doesn’t have to be detailed, it doesn’t have to be written down, it doesn’t have to be a lifetime dream, it doesn’t have to be large, but you need to have a plan. You need to have a path to travel along in order to have a journey.

Make your decision. Develop a plan. Start your journey.

The plan will change. So plan to be surprised – you have an exciting journey ahead.

Main photo by Tetsumo.