I find it paralyzing to make decisions. I do! Frustrated by having to decide what to eat for lunch every day at work, I once declared an entire year of "Salad Mondays" to limit the overwhelming lunch time decision to the other four days of the workweek. The next year, I boldly declared that I was on hiatus from making ANY decisions. I'm sure you can guess how long that lasted!
I'm not just talking about little decisions, either. I've been indecisive about some pretty big things in the past. I owe my commitment to Ithaca College as an undergrad to the fact that I didn't have to decide on a major until the end of my sophomore year. (Seriously, check out their Exploratory Progam
if you or someone in your sphere of influence is thinking about a 4 year degree.) After commencement, with a shiny new B.A. in Sociology, I ventured to a new city with only the prospect of a 2 month summer gig as a day camp counselor lined up.
The decision to not pursue a Masters of Social Work at that point came easily, but that was about the only decisive moment of early post graduate years. The 1990s were filled with a string of jobs: camp counselor, day care teacher, parks and recreation assistant, server, bartender, caterer, and customer service representative. Individaully, not one of these roles seemed to be directly related to my degree. I would argue that, collectively, they all involve and understanding of human relationships, and isn't that the very definition of Sociology?
And then I stumbled into hospitality, the hotel industry, to be precise (that's a fantastic story for another day!) I did not decide to choose the hotel life, it chose ME. For the past 22 years I have met thousands of hotel guests. And I have trained and mentored and folded countless towels along side of hundreds of amazing hotel team members. It's been a heck of a journey, where my understanding of human relationships is tested every day!
As an exploratory student back at IC, had I been able to look into a crystal ball to see the hugely rich and rewarding hospitality career awaiting me, I might have decided to enroll in some exchange courses at neighboring Cornell University's acclaimed hospitality school. Missed opportunity? Perhaps. But I've enjoyed this richly rewarding occupation despite those moments of indecision along the way.
Listen, if you struggle with indecision, you know it can feel paralyzing. (I've already admitted to you that I stress out about lunch on the daily.) But making decisions is unavoidable, despite any bold declarations you make otherwise. The path you are on is forged by a beautiful combination of good and bad decisions. Don't stress over the little ones (just eat the salad every Monday), and try not to stress about the big ones (find an exploratory program).
PRO TIP: Recognize that you navigate this life by making good and bad decisions. Trust yourself, be decisive, and enjoy the journey!
(If you've had an inexplicable earworm since you read the title of this post, my apologies! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, might I recommend you give a listen to Boston's "Peace of Mind.")