You’re sitting down at a table, and there’s a long row of dominoes lined up before you. You push down the first tile. You watch, as it slowly falls over. You let it drop. You let it recklessly topple all of the dominoes that follow, one by one. After a couple of seconds, you’ve got them all.
This little scenario perfectly sums up the simple logic behind decision-making:
You make your decision, whatever that may be, and a chain reaction follows, an iron link of unexpected events. Unexpected events that never would have happened had you played your cards differently earlier on.
This is what we call The Butterfly Effect. Simply put, the butterfly effect is the idea the small changes can cause bigger changes to happen.
If your parents never met, you wouldn’t be sitting here reading my article, for example.
Life itself is a chain reaction, a long list of decisions. You graduate from secondary school and straight off the bat you’re told you have to choose a degree. And then bye bye, you’re off to University. Though, of course, when you graduate University the decisions don’t finish there. Oh, no. You then have to choose the right career to pursue.
Decisions wait for you behind every door:
Should you buy the house or just rent it?
Is it time for a career change?
Are you in love with her/him?
Will you marry that person?
Do you want to have children?
Life is a long list of decisions.
Hiding Away From Decisions
The world won’t end just because you made one poor error in judgement. We’ve all been friendly with stupid decisions in the past. We all slip up and make mistakes. I’ll admit I’m guilty, too. Hey, I’m only human, and so are you.
Making the wrong decision is not so much the problem; hiding away from your duty and your responsibility to make decisions is the real issue. No good can come out of that.
Hiding away from decisions is the simple way out. It’s easy to run. It’s easy to wrap up all of your priorities in a box and dump them under your bed, where they can never see the light of day.
But, there’s only one slight problem with that way of thinking:
If you don’t call the shots in your own life, you’ll be living life by default. It’s as Zig Ziglar once said:
‘Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what’s even scarier? Regret.’
So we’re left with two options:
To live by default, sitting in the passenger, letting life drag us along for the ride.
To master our own fates and to take the responsibility of our lives into our own hands.
Has anyone ever told you this before: ‘Why not take a leap of faith?’
‘You only live once.’ ‘Seize the day.’ ‘Follow your heart.’ People love to say that last one a lot.
Following your heart is all very well, but it’s equally wise that you follow your wits, too.
Reckless decisions are decisions that are fuelled only by ambition and emotion.
So when you see an advert promising you that you can earn £3500 a day from dog-sitting, you should perhaps think things through before rushing out and quitting your 9 to 5.
There’s no need to make quick-fire decisions. Waiting is good. Nothing’s wrong with taking time to reflect before cannon-balling yourself into the deep end.
The Power of Solitude
Solitude is the best environment for reflection. The silence can help you to reflect. On your goals, on your mental well-being and on the ways that you want to better yourself. Simply put, solitude can help you learn more about yourself.
Don’t take my word for it. You should give it a try someday.
Set aside a few minutes, every now and then. Silence your electronics. You may want to head out for an early morning stroll in the park, or you may just want to think from the comfort of your own bed. Whatever floats your boat.
Use that time to ask yourself this question:
“What is it that I want from this life?”
Do you have an answer?
Well done, if you do. Don’t worry, if you don’t. Life is about finding the answer, after all. Once you’ve cracked the answer, you then have to ask yourself:
‘How will I cross the bridge from where I am now to where I want to be? How will I reach what I want from life?’
When Is It The Right Time to Follow Your Heart?
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a fan of motivational quotes. Can’t get enough of them. One of my personal favourites is Sylvester Stallone’s signature:
“It ain’t about how hard you can hit: it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.”
Quotes like these are the bread and butter of what it means to challenge the status quo and to push on above the limits. To live with passion. Passion is good. And so is wit.
Passion is what will inspire you to dream those big ideas. Wit is what will help you to turn those big ideas from fantasy to reality.
Without passion, we chain ourselves to limits. We lose drive, we lose energy and we lose the spirit needed to challenge the status quo.
Without wit, we become too friendly with stupid decisions.
Ideally, there should be an equal balance of wit and passion in our decisions.
As a general rule of thumb:
Passion + wit = seriously can’t go wrong