Are you someone who always knows what they want or do you have it; FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt).
It can just be so tricky, having to choose between one or the other, don’t you think? Some people aren’t bothered at all, they just act, a or b, left or right and wait and see what happens. In big or in small cases.
I do hear and recognize from many others I talk to that they don’t experience this. Not only the people I meet now, the travellers, no, also the ones who try to build a career or engage difficulties in their everyday life. I read about the millennials and generation Y. Living in a time filled with incentives, a huge diversity of things happening and information from all over the world. A big Walhalla of options and options mean choices. That big Walhalla is here for everyone, young and old. Does this make it the party it is promised to be? Or is it FUD all over?
At a relatively small choice it will not be a big problem, for instance with deciding which pizza you’d like to eat that night. But the bigger choices in life, those are the ones that can mess you up. Is it the right thing to do, is it good or bad and of course the famous ‘what if…’. What if I chose to do one thing and not the other? What if I realize too late that my choice wasn’t the best one after all? What if…
In looking at my own life it is something that puzzles me regularly. Because how do you know when you are making the right choices? Well actually, we can’t, we cannot know beforehand whether a choice is right or wrong. But that might be the positive side of it as well. Imagine knowing everything in advance, that might make deciding something even harder. At least this way you are choosing from the heart, possibly with some anticipation of what might happen. You are able to make your own choice, 100% your own choice, without being influenced by everything that can happen afterwards.
Something equally interesting is that you can influence whether your choice feels right or wrong. When you are in doubt about choosing between new joboffers and have it narrowed down to two? Listen to your instincts and follow your guts. Deep inside you will know. Even when all kinds of rational and future truths are behind those choices, your gut feeling will eventually tell you what you really want to do. And when your choice is made, focus on that choice because it is important to help making that decision the right decision. Get out of it what you can, enjoy to discover what it brings you and from that on decide which step is next.
Imagine – in the light of my current life – you decide to go off the beaten track, quit your job and just spend your days cycling. A huge journey of discovering the pure life, with and within yourself. If you keep spending your time thinking ‘what if I hadn’t done this’ or ‘what if I am throwing away my future this way’, that will keep you occupied and this way you won’t be able to live with the choice you made and enjoy its profits. You could just literally cycle many kilometres without getting anywhere at all.
And yes, sometimes you will have to take a step back in order to get a fresh perspective and take another step forwards. I encountered a similar situation just recently in a tunnel in Italy, which turned out to be not a tunnel for cyclists. So whether I wanted to or not, the police told me to find another way. Which meant I had to get back, had to cross the mountain, and those are major steps to take. A nice metaphor. Being on my bike has taught me that everything works better when we move forwards and I really mean that. It is almost Cruyffiaans -Dutch football player who always used remarkable expressions -. But it is that simple, right?
It is that way in life as well, I think. Choose and move, go on, go forwards, move. Stand still and enjoy the little things every now and then, live in the moment, no need to rush, but move on from that point. Don’t look back too much, no regrets, you do not need to regret anything. That is growing and exploring and living.
By putting the focus on the choice you made and not being distracted by ‘what if’ and ‘what would it have been like if I had…’, you can make sure every decision turns out for the best. Actually I think every choice you make this way is a positive one and will turn out to be okay, but I do think it can be hard from time to time. Do you recognize this or do you handle things differently?
The choice I made to leave everything behind and choose the uncertainty wasn’t an easy decision to make. Far from that and even now I sometimes drift off. I will think back and play the ‘what if’ card. I know it sounds lame and what does it offer me in the long run? Completely nothing. Think about it, will it change anything? Nope, completely nothing. It is like trying to cycle backwards and that won’t work at all. Or like standing still and in light of the bicycle metaphor, this means you will fall over or get pushed back, certainly in the mountains. It only makes you nervous and it will distract you. So just try to eliminate these kinds of thoughts. It is better to focus using the full capacity of your brain and some courage towards the future that these decisions create for you. Be curious as to what that future will bring you.
I try to teach this to myself. And doing it this way has slowly helped me to ease the decision making process, the bigger and smaller choices.
Just recently I got offered a really cool job out of the blue. In the south of France I could be a location manger for a travel organisation for the next three months. My own company isn’t called Just in Travel for nothing, of course with a twist in order to use my name, but I really want to do more within the travel business.
It seemed like a gift from above and it especially seemed like an easy choice. Because deciding to do this would ensure a roof over my head for at least three months, a steady income for the next three months and I would be able to gain some relevant experience which then would give my resume a boost as well. Three things actually that seem to make it easy to make the choice of accepting the job.
And still, you guessed it, I decided differently. I chose the uncertainty again. Why? Simply by listening to my feelings, something ached, something didn’t feel right after all and this something told me not to do it. And I promised myself to listen to that instinct and my feelings, because I believe that I can never make a wrong choice this way. Because it is a sincere choice from within. Whatever it may bring in the future.
There were so many things that tried to stop me from making this decision, especially in my head. My budget is decreasing enormously, I have been on the road for more than six months now and the rate it is going now I will only be able to last for a few more months this way. And still choose the insecurity and uncertainty? Yes, despite of everything.
And of course every now and then I think about it when I am on my bike. Was it the right choice after a… I just shake the thoughts off and focus on what is ahead and enjoy. More and more. Enjoy the kilometres, the beautiful roads, the steep climbs along the coasts and the breath-taking views. I enjoy the best espresso when I rest and enjoy the sun on my face when I stop to eat an earlier bought focaccia. All this is working on making this feel like it has been the right choice. Enjoying the present. I know new challenges will arrive, I believe in what I do and I am free to do whatever I would like to do. Thus the cycling is my truth and at the same time a nice metaphor for life.
In the end, it is you who is the one making the decisions and making it the right one. Disable the ‘what if’ and am focussing on the ‘now what’.
Following your own path which you created by your own choices. Sometimes you encounter those really hard to say no to turns,or crossroads that offer you over a hundred choices and how about the simple bends left or right. Either left and right will bring you somewhere and you can proceed from there on. No doubts it will be worth it.
I am curious though, because this is about someone like me, but how do you do that, how do you make your choices? FUD or..?