Most decisions should be made in less than 5 seconds or less. For all the other decisions this is how I do it.
How many decisions do you make every day? I would say on average we make over 500 decisions, before we ever get to the office in the morning maybe even before we leave the house. We decide to hit the snooze button or jump out of bed. We decide to brush our teeth, to pick up our phone, to kiss our spouse, which tooth paste to use, whether we make coffee, tea or drink water? I think you get the picture; we make tons of decisions every day. Why is it that we struggle so much with certain decisions though? Should I quit my job, should I start my own business, should I buy a car, should I ask her to marry me? All right, the last one is an extremely important decision. The others not so much.
I struggled for months with the decision of whether I should leave my job of over 5 years to pursue the growth of a company we started. All kinds of thoughts filled my head every time I would think about it. What happens if I fail? How will the boss take my leaving? If I stay just a little longer then I get more vacation. I love the people I work with, well most of them, do I really want to leave? I struggled with the answers to those very questions plus so many more.
Then this amazing thing happened. One day my wife asked if I had given these concerns to God. I looked at her like a dog listening to a high-pitched noise and answered, “No, it never occurred to me to ask for help from him.” I stopped in my tracks and asked God to take those worries away from me. Not only did the worries go away, but I was filled with joy for the opportunity that was right in front of us. The best thing about the whole situation was that God started giving me answers to the questions that I couldn’t answer myself.
What happens if I fail? So what if you fail, you can go back and get a job flipping hamburgers if you need to. You have so many skills to fall back on, you’ll be just fine.
How will my boss take it? Well we all know that people all react differently to change, sometimes they are glad to see you grow, other times they are selfishly aggravated that you left. Never leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth if at all possible. Personally, I told my boss, “Hey man you know that I loved working here and absolutely learned so much from you. I can’t thank you enough for everything that you have done to help me. I hope that it’s ok if I keep your number and you keep my personal cell. Please call me if I can ever do anything to help you, business or personal.”
If I stay, just a little longer I get more vacation. If I go, I won’t have to ask for vacation, I can take it when I want / need it!
You get the picture. No decision is hard to make once you stop worrying about it and take that leap of faith.
One of my favorite quotes comes from one of my outstanding former leaders, Ezra Lee. I asked him what it took him to start his own business, how he was brave enough to go out on his own and then grow it into the empire that it is today. He looked at me and said, “You know there was a time in my life when I didn’t have the money to buy shoes. I’m not scared to go back to that time again if that’s where I’m supposed to be.”
When he first told me that, I was perplexed and again looked at him as if a dog listens to a high-pitched noise. (seeing a pattern yet? lol) I was lost. Who would be willing to go back living off nothing? After I thought about it for a while, I realized what he was truly saying. You have to trust that everything is under control and out of YOUR control. The second part to that is you are never ready. Once you realize all of that, those difficult decisions aren’t very challenging anymore.
We can justify anything that we want in life, good or bad. The point I’m trying to make is, to not sweat the small stuff. All decisions are small when you realize that nothing is permanent. Even tattoos can be touched up and changed. Think about that for a second. Not the tattoos thing, but nothing is permanent. If nothing is permanent then what’s holding you back from taking that leap of faith. Go ask that girl out, take the interview, apply for the job, go back to school, start trying to have kids, start your business, enjoy life!