Is this your final decision?

We dance at the starting line forever. We stand cautiously weighing the risk, the cost, and wanting to make the perfect decision before starting something.

We feel like a man jumping off a building. Once we jump, there's no going back. We can’t change, we can’t stop, we must see whatever we start to completion. This can cause a lot of anxiety and inaction. We feel like this is the final decision, and the only one we get to make.

But that's flawed thinking. The beauty is that we can be flexible. We can change mid sentence, redirect our course, or stop all together. Action even in the wrong direction is better than no action at all. If its no longer a good goal, we can let it go.

But when you stand, contemplate, consider and let everything swirl around in your brain. When you make no move towards starting until you know exactly where you are going, and know you're going to get there, you will start very few things.

Starting is clarifying: Once you have started something, you can have a more realistic picture of what it actually entails to finish the project. You'll realize whether you're still passionate about the project, whether it has value and whether you should continue.

Starting helps you to gain momentum. If you wait too long to start something, the excitement will die off, which you could have used to catapult yourself closer to success. You can spend a lot of valuable time and energy planning and thinking about starting your goal instead of putting that energy towards actually creating.

Also, the mental energy of thinking about something can be more daunting than actually doing it. When you have ideas swirling around in your brain that you aren’t taking action on, that doesn’t mean you aren’t still working on them. You are expending energy thinking about them which is the exact energy you would be using to actually do it! It's terribly inefficient and steals your productivity.

Of course planning is incredibly valuable, but too much planning can paralyze you to action. And then what good is a plan if you don’t put it into motion? All it is are words on a paper; dust bunnies collecting as proof that you didn’t have the gumption to start your dreams.

It's worse to have a dream and not do anything about it, then to not even have a dream.

So get started. Stop waiting for the perfect alignment of your thoughts, your plans and your circumstances.

“That’s none of my business”

A daughter sat complaining to her mother about an argument she was having with her father. When she asked if her mother would intervene and work out the situation for her, her mother said “Honey, that’s none of my business.” This seems harsh but in actuality it was a very wise decision. She would have done her daughter a disservice if she had gone and smoothed things over with her father. The mother could have created peace and resolved the issue, but the two players were the father and daughter. If someday the mother weren’t there, the two would never have learned to communicate or resolve their issues because their mediator was missing.

Oftentimes it is best to stay out of arguments that aren’t our own. We can give advice and counsel, but we should never do all the work to create peace. We start to enable those who are having the problems, and they begin to rely on us to fix them. Once that happens the tendency will be to get dragged into all the arguments and those we love will never learn to work through their own problems with each other.

Money and values

Cars, boats, houses, clothing, antiques, gaming equipment. How we spend our money is often an emotional decision. When buy something, it’s because we feel it will make us happier, more successful, perceived better by others etc. At least one of our values are being appealed to, and that’s why we buy. A common phrase is “look at where people spend their money, and you will see what they value”

Do your purchases line up with what you say you value?

Opportunity Cost

There’s a principle in business called the opportunity cost. Its the idea that everything has a cost that we don’t actually see. If you choose to spend your evenings watching television than the opportunity cost could be that you missed out on the opportunity to start your own business because your time was otherwise tied up.

The same idea goes for someone who works an exorbitant amount of hours a week. It is costing them the opportunity of spending time with their family and friends or pursuing hobbies etc.

Sometimes things that are merely good or beneficial are not what’s best.

Consider opportunity cost before making a decision that will cost you what you don’t want to pay.