Sunday 15 January 2017

The Difficulty of "Yes"

So, I may have been a little flippant in my last post when I stated that to "just say yes" is the easiest lesson. I should perhaps say that it's as easy as jumping off a cliff. Technically speaking, it's just a matter of moving in a certain direction, and you're there. You've even got gravity on your side.

But, of course, it's a little more complicated than that, and I feel that I need to acknowledge this. For every opportunity that I've "just said yes" to, I've also been faced with an opportunity that I've agonised over, and eventually said "no" to. They were really awesome opportunities too.

The reality is that, by saying "yes", you're inviting a huge change into your life. It could be a geographic change, a turn in your career path - either a slight deviation or a complete change of track - new colleagues, new expectations, and new challenges.

Many of these are unpredictable, which leads me to my main point - the paradox of making the "right decision".

We're raised in life to make decisions, and we're more or less taught that there is a "right" and "wrong" choice. The more informed we are of the consequences, the better position we are in to make these choices.

But life isn't like that. The most amazing opportunities in life are the ones where the possibilities are boundless - and with it, so are the variables. Yes, there are some known consequences, and these might be:

- You're leaving your home behind.
- You won't see most, if not all, your friends and family for a while.
- You'll be ending many of your current working relationships.
- You'll be ending a personal relationship.
- You'll be resuming a personal relationship - if that decision is to move back home to a former partner.
- You'll get to work in an organisation that you've always wanted to work with.
- You'll get to work in a team with somebody who inspires you.
- You'll get to live in an exciting place where you've always wanted to live.

These kinds of known outcomes are what you can base your decisions on. Everything else is purely conjecture - and that's a scary thing.

On the other hand, to "just say no" is, conversely, just saying yes to many of the things that are already present in your life. But that's not to say that this choice isn't without its unpredictable factors either. Life can turn around even the most seemingly-stable lives.

The important thing to remember is that a "yes or no" choice doesn't necessarily mean you're making a "right or wrong" choice.

It might mean honouring commitments, or seeking new ones. Staying put or flying away. Choosing adventure or stability. But you do need to actively make a choice, either way. Worrying about hypothetical "what-ifs", or if it's the right or wrong choice is wasted time - just look at the options in front of you, and pick one.

You always have a choice.

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