Making a decision to move across to the other side of the world is a huge leap. Leaving a secure job to travel the world, to pursue the dream? That’s downright scary. Actually doing these things, that takes courage. Lots and lots of it.
We’ve done both. I think we may be a bit crazy.
Even after all discussions to move to Australia, Rich was initially vague with his commitment. He liked to say: “We’re still considering moving to Australia.”
I’d respond: “No. We’re moving. We have to stab our stick into the ground and commit to it.”
He would look at me warily. “There are a ton of things that may not align and it may all fall apart.”
Yep. It’s scary.
“Yes, but if we have a solid plan and stick with the plan, all should fall into place. As long as we commit.” Spoken like a true project manager.
So, we committed.
The difference between Rich and I is that we make decisions in completely opposite ways.
He thinks and rethinks. He talks it out, researches more, talks it out more, ponders a little more, talks it again…. And finally he makes a decision before second-guessing his decision.
I research, ponder both sides of the decision, and make a decision, usually quickly. I don’t second-guess my decision. Life is too short for that. Sure, I’ve made mistakes. How else will you learn in life but from your mistakes?
When you have major decisions to make, you think them through and then you make a plan. You write the list. You work the list. You cross things off the list. Eventually you come to the end of your list and miraculously it ‘falls into place’.
But when the list is long, when it seems overwhelming, what do you do? You need resolve and a steady head, yes, because those moments do get overwhelming. But just as importantly, you also need to give yourself a break.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my list and thought “Fark! Right! Netflix looks good right now. What’s on?” and buried my head in something light for a while.
You have to give yourself time to absorb the enormity.
You have to give yourself time to really deal with what you are doing, by NOT thinking about it. Then, when the heart palpitations stop, you can continue on with that list, the plan, to eventually get to that place you want to be.
Thinking about this reminds me of something from my corporate life. I used to ask this one question to interviewees, no matter what the position they were applying for:
I loved asking this question.
The answer did not matter that much, although some answers that were downright amazing! What I looked for was how risky these candidates where. How much were they were willing to put themselves out there? I watched their facial expressions as they answered. Were they happy, proud, amazed, shocked, etc… of their decision? How much courage did it take to make that decision?
Why did it matter? Because I wanted to work with people who didn’t just sit on the fence. I wanted them to think broadly, beyond the norm. I wanted them to be able to take risks, understanding where they may land may very well be a better place, or at least learn some really great life lessons from it.
Yes, you have to make major, life-changing decisions with a cool head. You have to think it through, make the decision and then plan it out. But just as importantly, you need to take time to absorb it. Understand the change you’re making. What impact it will have.
Then build your courage by whatever means you can. You’ll need it.
When it’s all said and done, believe me, it’s worth the stress, the pain, the drama, and yep, even those never-ending lists. Totally worth it.
One day, you’ll find yourself somewhere and you’ll realise: You did this. You accomplished your goal.
This thing that you planned for, navigated the minefield for. You had courage and made this really gutsy move to change the direction of your life. (Well done!)
One last thing.
My best friend sent me a present for my birthday. I received it while I was writing this post. It’s a beautiful silver bracelet that’s inscribed: “She believed she could, so she did.”
If you like what you’ve read, will you share it?