When you figure it out

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Letter to a friend…

You recently asked me a question I’ve asked 100+ people, ‘What should I do? I just can’t decide’…

And I realized recently that once you ask that question, you’re hiding. You’re hiding from the fear of the unknown. Fear that your decision might not work. Fear that you will make a decision and something will change, for the better or worse.

The thing is, you’ll never ‘figure it out’ if you keep making the same decision.

I made several of the ‘same’ decisions by staying in academia. Sure it gave me the time to figure it out, but I still spent a lot of hours working on something I didn’t believe in at the time.

If you fast forward to when you’re 50, you might know how you want to spend every hour of the day, and that’s likely because you’re running out of it, so you have to prioritize.

You won’t figure out the 5 things you need to do to be 10/10 happy right now.

Clearly, those 5 things will change in 10 years. Even 5 years.

So, you have to move fast to try different tasks, jobs, ideas…and iterate.

Prepare to do it again because it’s not going to stay the same over time. My parents are young now, so I sacrifice time with them for work. But once I have a child and they are older, maybe time is better spent with them. It’s better spent on filling the family column.

So to find the ‘why’ or your purpose, don’t sweat the 20+ year plan. It won’t survive first contact with the real world.

You need a compass, not a map and, for me, fear is typically the best compass.