Decision Making: What you “Should” Do

I’ve been thinking a lot lately on decision making and what sets me apart from others on the stress, success, and happiness scales. I think it mostly has to do with the fact that when I’m debating anything, I take into consideration, first and foremost, my gut instinct on whether or not it makes me happy. And I’m talking REALLY happy, not just moderately satisfied. It’s with this attitude that I’ve been able to thrive in my profession and in life. This photo pretty much sums up my decision-making process:

photo via Frank Adellia

When I think about starting a new endeavor, either travel, love, life, or work-related, I ask myself the question in the photo above:

“Do I really want to do ____?” 
Then I answer. Honestly. 

It may sound like a silly question, 
but SO many people
 answer no or maybe to this question 
(maybe without even realizing it)
 and they DO IT ANYWAY. 
And that’s when they get stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, etc. I’ve seen so many of my clients and friends dissatisfied with their job/ their relationship/ their life overall and, 9 times out of 10, it’s because of something they’re doing that they DON’T LOVE, but they think they “should” do. 
Should I leave my job? 
Should I switch my career at this age?
Should I date/marry this person? 
Should I have kids one day? 
Should I learn a new sport/hobby?
Should I get in better shape? 
Should I buy this car?
All of these questions are very important and these endeavors can take lots of time/dedication to achieve, but you can’t do it unless you REALLY WANT IT. So stop asking if you “should” and start asking if you “want”! 
And if you don’t really want it, 
  don’t do it 
because you think you “should”
That’s the worst reason to stay in any situation. If your gut is telling you that something is wrong then that feeling probably won’t change as time goes on. And, in my experience, it can become worse over time and it gets harder to fix later on down the road. It’s like when you go on a date with a new person and they’re really sweet, nice, funny, attractive, etc, but you’re just not feeling anything huge when it comes to chemistry. There’s nothing wrong with them and you “should” like them, but you’re not really into it. So you go on a few more dates, even though you’re not in it and then it gets harder to break things off later. A silly example, but if you’re doubting at the beginning, it’s not likely to get better. 
“Doubt means don’t” 

Oprah said that shit! 
And it’s SOOOO true. 
And Oprah’s not usually wrong. 
Her billion dollars back her up on that statement. 

Should I quit this job? I’m only 3 weeks into it! Maybe…
(This happened to me when I was a server at an Italian restaurant when I was in college). No, but I hated that job from day 1, and quitting gave me motivation to find a new one, asap, that paid more and had better hours. Yes, I gave my 2 weeks notice after 3 weeks of working, but I was better off by quitting. I got a new job quickly that allowed me to make more money and get more sleep. I was happier and didn’t spend the entire school year hating my life. And I’m pretty sure the managers were ok with having me gone. 
Should I leave college at the beginning of the semester to go to Greece for a couple months?! Hell yes!
I caught a lot of shit for this one… Yes, it could have put me behind on my graduation schedule. Yes it could have been a huge disaster. But it wasn’t. I only stayed in Greece for a couple weeks, but would have regretted it forever had I not taken the chance. And since I was already out of school, I got to do some more traveling and then work to save up money for the next semester. I also took summer classes the next year so I still graduated on time and with all my buddies. 
Should I move to San Diego with only $800 to my name?! Hell yes!
Yeah… probably could have saved more for this one, but I was a week out of college and that’s all I had. Yes, I ate peanut butter for a few days at one point, Yes, there was a time when I was so broke a friend of mine called me $8 Ami (and still does to this day) because I was out of town, at a conference and only had that much in my bank account. But while I lived there, I worked my ass off, learned as much as I could, and I am where I am today because I took that chance. Because I WANTED it. 

I’m using these small examples to carry over my point: 
Don’t worry about what you “should do” 
Worry about what you “want to do.”


And if you do really want it? 
FUCKING DO IT! 

Take that leap of faith!
And don’t let anything or anybody stand in your way! 
So if you’re mulling over a decision in your head today, ask yourself the question above and answer honestly. Then start working toward that destination. If you’re doubting, then find a different pathway. Not all is lost if you change your mind, but a lot can be lost if you head down the wrong road for too long…

Maybe you should, maybe you shouldn’t, but it’s YOUR life and you’re the only one that has say over it. So don’t worry about everybody else. 


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