Tough decisions – my least favorite part about growing up, am I right? We all remember when we were younger and maybe the toughest decision we ever had to make was which color crayon we wanted to use on our coloring books. As we get older, the decisions only become more intense. Which major do I want to pursue? Which university? Am I ready to be in a committed relationship? Should I move away from home or stay local? What career do I want to pursue?
All of these tough decisions have come crashing into my life all at once as I approach my last few weeks as a senior LC, just like the rest of my teammates. Most of us are beginning our post-LC life and having to make these tough choices, so for my second-to-last blog post I’d like to share with you three tips on how to make these tough decisions a little easier.
Think about the pros-and-cons. This is a classic solution and can really help with any choice you’ll have to make. I think the real struggle with this is being attentive to which list you feel more inclined to fill out. I find myself making a pro-con list and realize that I’m intentionally trying to find more reasons to fill out a certain column or trying to make them even. What makes a pro-con list work is when it is obvious that one column overshadows another. Think about how you felt as you filled out reasons for a column: did it reassure you? Was it something you felt was much easier to fill out? Do the reasons in the other column, although might be shorter, seem to make you happier?
Write down the things that make you happiest. When thinking about which career you want to pursue or where you want to live, you need to make those decisions align with what brings you the most joy. Write down all the details and small things that bring a smile to your face. It could be sunshine, coffee shops, the music scene, the amount of (little) traffic on the road, etc. Once you write down what makes you happiest, try to find correlations to those things with your options.
Define success. For those of us that like to think far into the future and jump to conclusions like Lady Gaga jumping off the ledge in the Super Bowl, it all comes down to trying to attain success. We want our future to be as close to perfect as possible or at least to be aligned with our version of success. This concept, however, can be molded and changed throughout the years with each passing moment in your life and further change your journey. My idea of success and my future was so different from even a year ago, so I’ve needed to rethink and adjust my perception. Does success mean waking up every morning looking forward to work? Does success mean being in a relationship or does it mean working on myself for a while?
I hope that when you are faced with a tough decision, you can find these thinking points and exercises helpful. Always remember, no matter the decision it will lead you to a new adventure of personal growth.