I’ve recently had a big realization when it comes to making a decision.
An epiphany. A learning experience. Whatever you want to call it, I’ve realized something in the past few weeks. Other than the fact that I can eat myself to sleep and not feel guilty about it. What else is a quarantined pregnant woman to do?
Let me slightly backtrack to June 2019. I was fed up with my job and the monotony of my daily routine. My life consisted of being in the car 90% of the time because #Floridalife. I was absolutely miserable going to work and could only see dead-end signs in front of me. Sure, my life outside of work was going great, and I was grateful for it. But the hours I spent at work were chipping away at my soul and ended up spilling over into all other areas of my life.
I told myself, “this CANNOT be IT.” So, I did what any other person would do in this day and age, and I googled what to do next.
Highly recommend it (not being sarcastic).
I looked through many job listings. Then browsed through many lists of the best places to live in the world. And scrolled through advice columns on different career paths.
I let my mind wander. I allowed myself to dream of the possibilities.
– Maybe I should move to Costa Rica in the Blue Zone area to drink freshly made smoothies every morning and do yoga all day.
– Or maybe I should move to Singapore and pursue a high-end career so that I can live in luxury.
– Well, I’ve always wanted to go back to school so that I can follow a different path.
– But what if I just quit my job and stay at home for a little bit to see what inspires me?
I had so many thoughts go through my head, I was about to explode. Luckily, after many google searches, I found a top-ranked university that taught a fascinating Master’s degree. Masters in Applied Cognitive Psychology.
Finally, something I was passionate about! I never thought THAT would happen. So, on a whim, I applied to this program.
Did I mention that it was all the way across the ocean in the Netherlands?
Except, this crazy idea became a reality the moment I got accepted into the program. I had two months to pack up my whole life and move. While you might know this story (it’s really the only cool story I have), there’s one thing you don’t know. My husband was in the process of applying for his citizenship, which made this move quite INCONVENIENT. To say the least.
Inconvenient because we’ll have to move back to the States within a year to keep the process moving.
What do you think happened?
A LOT of people frowned upon my decision to move so hastily.
This was the main comment, “Why don’t you wait one more year and move then?”
So, as you can imagine, being the anxious introvert I am, I’ve pondered about this ever since I landed in the Netherlands in August 2019.
See, as I battled pre-natal depression and commuted my ass two hours every day for 5 months to pursue this program, all while not having an income anymore and stressing out about my husband’s status, I couldn’t stop thinking that THEY WERE RIGHT.
Up until now. Because of my BIG realization (courtesy of the Coronavirus).
If I had listened and rescinded my application, my move to Europe and my hope for a different path in life would have come to a screeching halt because look at what’s happening in the world right now.
Based upon the outlook, if I were still in Florida, I wouldn’t have applied to this program because of the uncertainty of it actually being open for applications.
Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten in.
I might have been terrified to leap because of the current economic outlook.
I might have been laid off since my company is in an industry that was already on its way out.
And I certainly wouldn’t be pregnant with my second child.
This is why I recently realized that: When it comes to making a decision, there’s no time to waste. Better be fast than sorry.
While you’re mulling it over, you could be missing out on the time of your life. You could be missing out on love, money, career opportunities, etc. If it feels right and it excites you, what are you waiting for? Don’t let other people’s opinions get in the way of how you want to live your life. Of course, there are some risks involved (such as my husband’s issue). But the beauty is that there are always solutions to be found.
Remember, everything is figureoutable.
And even in a time like this, when things are more uncertain than usual, don’t let that get in your way. Opportunities present themselves for a reason.
Who knows, even if you’re deciding with all this uncertainty floating around, you might be in the best position of your life next year.
If there’s one extra thing this virus has taught me (other than not hoarding all the hand sanitizer when it’s restocked), it’s that there’s no way to know what’s waiting around the corner.
So it’s better to go ahead and make that decision today.
But if you’re still on the fence, maybe this will help you. While I’m definitely a proponent of doing drastic things, I strongly believe that those things need to vet. Maybe not thoroughly, but enough to have some peace of mind about the results. This is why I want to bring up a book I recently read about how to make better decisions – Thinking In Bets – Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All The Facts.
While it’s quite repetitive and slow at times, it helped me shift the way I look at every decision. I no longer assess my decision-making skills on the associated outcomes. This means that regardless of whether an outcome turns out to be good or bad, I’m going to look at the decision I made regarding whether I analyzed all the angles before making it. Sometimes we can make the best decision under the circumstances we’re in, but the outcome turns out to be excruciatingly terrible.
Sure, you can literally make a drastic decision without putting any thought into it, or you can make a calculated drastic decision. The latter technically looks crazy from the outside but absolutely rational from the inside.
Remember: the outcome of a decision doesn’t necessarily equate to the quality of a decision.
This is the most important takeaway from this book. Now you don’t have to read it anymore. If you think about your decisions this way and disassociate them from their outcomes, then you’re going to improve your decision-making skills, and you’ll feel more confident when making a decision.
I suddenly realized this because I felt a wave of gratitude at being where I was at right now a few weeks ago. Sure, it was an immense struggle at the beginning due to being homesick and pure culture shock, but I’m glad I made the decision when I did. Like everyone else, I don’t know how things will unravel moving forward, and ultimately I don’t know the outcome of my decision. What I do know is the alternative, and it isn’t pretty.
So tell me, what decision are you currently sitting on?