There are times in our life when we have to make a decision. We find ourselves standing at a crossroads with options in front of us. A typical crossroads would determine that we would have three options or choices. Picture driving up to an actual intersection of roads. It’s best to think of west. The desert, tumbleweed, cacti, cactuses? Both are accepted. This setting just feels more serene and secluded. And it’s just cool. No one is there to witness your decision. It is just you and this place and the road you choose. You can take a left, go straight, or take a right…3 choices. Maybe a good way to use this analogy would be to match up each choice of road with an answer to the question, ‘should I do this?’ Of course ‘this’ can fit whatever situation you may have in your life. With 3 choices of roads, road 1 is YES! Road 2 is NO! Road 3 is OTHER or MAYBE SO.
I think whenever we are asking ourselves ‘should I do this’, it’s usually because we already have a hunch that we want to do it. ‘Go with your gut’, ‘follow your instincts’, ‘lead with your heart’, are all phrases that tell us we already know the answer. Yes is the answer. We know what we’d like to do, and deep down we know what we desire. However, before we commit ourselves to road 1, we are faced with obstacles like fear and insecurity that will ostensibly reveal that this decision was a bad choice. That’s terrible and very sad. I think everyone needs more of road 1 in their life. Be more of a ‘yes man’, and stop turning everything down. Embrace change and moving forward. Covet growth and the learning process, especially when you find yourself on the edge of comfort. Many of us talk about our passions and what we truly want to be doing. We describe it to others. We visualize it in vivid detail. We think about how it will all play out in the future. But then we don’t act. This is why some psychologists have found that we shouldn’t actually talk about our goals. By speaking about them, and receiving feedback from others, we actually feel a sense of accomplishment and we lose the passion, the edge, the motivation we once had. This has happened to me many times. It’s hard because we want to share our passion with others. We want to bounce ideas. Maybe we should just share the tip of the iceberg…or bounce one small ball to someone. Don’t spill it before acting on it. When is the best time to start acting on your passions? Right now. Immediately. The clock is ticking.
Being a ‘yes man’ and taking road 1 on your decisions can bring you places you never dreamed of. However, there are often times when we have to say ‘no’. Maybe you’re just done spending time with a certain person…maybe your schedule is full…maybe you’re just wiped out from being the challenges of parenting. All these are totally justifiable. I’ve learned that ‘no’ doesn’t have to be negative. If we communicate to others our feelings and/or reasons along with our ‘no’, we should be comfortable and content in our position to turn something down. Withing my business, I now notice myself saying ‘no’ more often. I always try to say ‘yes’ and take road 1 when people have requests. But for a variety of reasons, sometimes I turn things down. In the past, I felt guilty or insecure about this. But that doesn’t hold any weight. I tell myself that if I can’t commit wholeheartedly to this decision, it won’t work out for either party. Therefore, taking Road 2 can be understood as the best decision for all involved. Road 2 shouldn’t be as worn and trodden as road 1, but don’t be afraid to lay new tracks when warranted.
Sometimes we can’t commit to a yes or no right now. We aren’t ready to. I actually use road 3 often. I’m not so great at deciding on things right away. I like to ruminate on the idea for a while…sleep on it in a sense. I have come to realize that spontaneity is powerful and rewarding, and have started implementing that more in my day to day. However, on some big decisions, I still hold value in deliberate consideration, weighing pros and cons over time and as I think of them, and documenting thoughts in a journal, before making a final choice. While mulling over an idea for a couple of days, an important variable will often arise that easily determines the outcome for me. It’s like a subtle, ‘did you consider this?’ And I will know right then and there whether it’s road 1 or 2 that I’m taking. Road 3 seems to be a loop around that brings you back to the same intersection later on. It allows some soul searching, some road tripping, and a few pit stops to get your bearings and reassess your current location/situation.
Maybe you have to let some time pass before you become close with that special someone. Perhaps you’re waiting for them to work something out on their end.
You may need to save some money up, or line up your budget differently first.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed and need to put a decision on the back burner until you feel more centered.
Whatever it may be, we all have reasons to take road 3 at certain crossroads. As I spoke of in the Road 2 section…be confident and content with your choice to wait on the decision. It’s not a ‘non-decision’…it’s a decision to wait, and lock in to something when you are totally ready to do so. With the quick pace of our lives, I’m often telling Matilda, ‘let’s go, make a decision quickly!’ But I try to catch myself…thinking, ‘wait…she can have all the time she wants to make a decision’ (within reason!). I believe it will strengthen the ground she stands on, and empower her ability to make wise and timely decisions for the rest of her life.
Be aware of your surroundings when you come to a crossroads. Simply pay attention to your emotions and the physical changes taking place. Take a breath before accelerating down the next road. Remember, each and every even small decision will set your life onto a different path…possibly a different plane. So choose wisely! I wish you the best in your decision making!
Music: Kaleo is a band that started in Iceland. That might contribute to their unique sound. I often forget about them for a while, and then hear them on the radio. The sound is always intriguing…and since I don’t own any of their music, I always go home and put on some of their live stuff. Matilda and I caught them live at the Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival last year. They rock! Give this song a listen!