Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions:
1) “What are the costs of inaction?” I find it can be helpful to fight fear with fear. Fears of acting are easily and immediately articulated by our “lizard brains” e.g. what if I fail? what if I look stupid? If you systematically and clearly list the main costs of inaction, they will generally overshadow your immediate fears.
2) “What kind of person do I want to be?” I’ve found this question to be extremely useful. I admire people who act bravely and decisively. I know the only way to join their ranks is to face decisions that scare me. By seeing my actions as a path to becoming something I admire, I am more likely to act and make the tough calls.
3) “In the event of failure, could I generate an alterative positive outcome?” Imagine yourself failing to an extreme. What could you learn or do in that situation to make it a positive experience? We are generally so committed to the results we seek at the outset of a task or project that we forget about all the incredible value and experience that comes from engaging the world proactively, learning, and improving our circumstances as we go along.
1) Since I’m looking for a new job, the costs of inaction is that my family income is cut in half. Since I’m looking for that move as part of a career, I’m risking being stuck in a dead-end job.
2) I’ve enjoyed being a jack of all trades. This makes me useful to a lot of people. However, this is not as useful to me anymore. I need to be in ONE career. I need to be the best in that career. Since I’m pursuing computers and other electronics, that can never die out. Computing electronics will always be around. These things are always improving. I need to improve with that industry to be assured a continued spot.
3) If I fail, I can always get “just another job”. The family income is first and foremost to be taken care of. Continue learning in the process.