“Drowning in options is a terrible way to die.” – Paul Angone
We are suffocating in choices. Options. Possibilities. What if’s. A Google Search supplying you with 3,457 results.
Every choice you make means you’re not choosing 25 other options, something we understand all too well.
Whether it’s choosing the right place to live, the right spouse, the right career, the right Pandora station, the right Pad Thai, or what the heck to watch on Netflix, every decision feels like an anxiety attack waiting to pounce, claws first.
As I wrote in All Groan Up: Searching For Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job!:
Our generation has more options at our disposal than any other in the history of humankind…Instead of singing the ABC’s in kindergarten, we chanted, “I can do anything; I can be anything.”
But what happens when we feel like we’re doing nothing? What happens when all the choices and options become the never-ending cereal aisle that we can never leave? What happens to us then?
How does our generation deal with all these choices? And even better, how do we find some way to make the right choices without driving ourselves crazy?
When you don’t know what to choose, do these three things…
First, make a choice that you need to make a choice
It sounds straight-forward. But we become so paralyzed in choosing something that we end up choosing nothing instead.
Not making a choice is a choice. And probably the least constructive choice you can make.
Because you don’t learn anything staying in the same place. Just like a river, when water stops going downstream, it becomes a place where muck, mire, and sickness set in.
We need to keep flowing downstream even if we don’t know exactly what awaits us around the bend.
As former US President Teddy Roosevelt so aptly put it:
“Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.”
Make a choice that you’re going to make a choice.
If you’re struggling to figure out what your passion is and what you want to pursue, pick something.
If it doesn’t work out, that’s great. Well, maybe not great. But every time you figure out what you don’t want to do, you come one step closer to figuring out what you do want.
It’s a game of emerging adult elimination. Every time you cross something off the list, you get closer to naming a winner.
As Kevin Garcia wrote in a great guest post for All Groan Up, “…if you don’t like what you are doing, do something different. And after that, do something else until you find your niche, a place where you flourish and are exactly who you were made to be.”
Do it big. Do it small. Just do something.
Find your “73% sure” and give it a try.
Second, limit the extra noise…
We are experiencing a glut of opinions, voices, headlines, and information you just can’t miss.
And. It’s. All. Just. Too. Much!
We can’t take it all in. It’s impossible. You could research the same question for years and find a hundred contrary opinions telling you that each step you take is assuredly the wrong one. We have to limit where we’re getting our information from.
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
― Bruce Lee
Hack away at the inessentials.
Block the things that are blocking you from making choices and moving forward. Find the trusted resources and give them your ear.
Third, create a framework that you can bring your choices to
Making big life decisions is much easier when you know where you’re making your decisions from.
What do I mean?
We spend every moment with ourselves, and yet there’s so much we don’t know. Sometimes the hardest place to accurately look is in the mirror.
What matters the most to you? What are your soul values that instruct your decisions, and concurrently inject you with anxiety when you’re making choices contrary to them. How do you know what you want to serve to the world, if you haven’t asked yourself what your Signature Sauce is?
Honestly, that’s the power of the Signature Sauce program I’ve created, which I’ll be launching again soon. It helps you construct a strategic framework to help you make strategic life choices based on what is most important to you.
If you don’t know what you want or why you want it, pursuing your purpose will feel like trying to grasp fog.
Make your choices more concrete by laying down the foundation that you’re making choices from.
Make a choice that you’re going to make some choices this week.
Get action. Don’t wait. Drowning in possibilities is a terrible way to die.