The decision to trade life as you know it for an open-ended trip around the world is a biggie. Actually, let’s upgrade that to a huge-y. It looms in front of you like a razor-wire-topped wall, the only thing standing between you and the rest of your life.
If you choose adventure, there are a million what-ifs, a million disasters you could face, and a million things you might miss out on when you’re gone. There are also thousands of choices you need to make before you can ever leave. How long should I go? Where? What clothes should I bring? What gear do I need?
If you choose to stay put, you can just sit down and have a cup of tea, knowing things will be the same, day after day after day after…
Making the decision to go do something new can be the most difficult part of the whole project. Maybe you should just flip a coin.
Let Go Of The Decision, Embrace The Choice
I know, the idea of a flipping a coin seems, well, flippant. But what if I said that your decisions don’t really determine how happy you are? That there’s no such thing as a wrong decision.
(We’re talking about normal life decisions here. I’m not advocating that you decide to go rob a bank or drive your car drunk. Be smart, people.)
Here’s a simple example:
You’re at the beach, and you can’t decide if you want the chocolate ice cream or the strawberry. On the one hand, you long for that smooth chocolatey taste on your tongue, but on the other, the tang of fresh strawberry would be great on a hot day like today. You only have $2 in your pocket, so you can’t get both.
After much agonizing, you choose strawberry.
While you lick your cone, you can’t stop wondering how the chocolate tastes. Would it have been better? Yes, you’re sure it would have been better. Damn, you made the wrong decision.
Now, imagine instead that you delight in that strawberry ice cream, letting it slowly melt on your tongue as the sunshine-filled taste of strawberry dances over your taste buds. Instead of thinking about that chocolate ice cream, you watch as waves lazily roll onto the shore and kids build sandcastles on the beach.
Getting the strawberry ice cream is the best decision you ever made.
The Secret To Making The Right Decision
If you treat every choice as a chance to wish for its opposite, then every decision ends up being the wrong one. You become one of those people who complains that they can never catch a break, that everything they do is destined for misery.
These people are everywhere, even on the road, in far-flung corners of the globe. They lament that they should have gone to Cambodia instead of Laos, or taken a taxi instead of the bus. They are miserable, and everyone else wishes they would just go home.
They always long for the road not taken.
So, here’s the big secret to making the right decision, every single time.
It doesn’t matter how you choose, whether it’s a pro and con list, a rigorous round of research, gut instinct or a flip of a coin.
Once the decision is made, don’t think about the what ifs, don’t peer over the fence, don’t wonder what your life would be like “if only”.
Walk down the road you chose with confidence. Experience every flavour while it is on your tongue. This is the life you chose; enjoy it.