I don’t know the answer.
Have you ever heard of the conundrum of choice?
To sum it up, the theory is based on the idea that the more options a person has to choose from, the less likely they will be able to make a decision they are happy with. It seems counterintuitive in some respects, wouldn’t more options mean more opportunity, and doesn’t opportunity make you happy?
Well if this reasoning were true, then I should be as happy as a Belgian on a sunny day.
(shout out to my fellow Northern Europeans who understand the struggle of living in a place where a sunny day is considered a miracle - stay strong amici)
As I finish up another location based project, I once again find myself with the option to move to (literally) anywhere in the world and take on (literally) any project that so catches my fancy. Truly, I am faced with a summer of endless possibility.
And it is so dang frustrating. *
Don’t worry, this post is not headed in the “my life is just too perfect but I still need something to complain about so I am going to be nit-picky and complain about having too much” direction.
First of all, to quote the forever classic School of Rock, that would be tacky and I hate it.
Second of all, my life is far from perfect. I know that often times this digital nomad lifestyle is portrayed as the idyllic picture of sunshine and rainbows, so I want to make sure that I take the time to share the messy and hard parts that go on behind the scenes too, because that’s where the true life happens.
Ok, now that you’ve been ensured protection against a self-pity post, let’s continue on...
Now I don’t know the magic number - it varies from person to person - but after you push yourself outside of your comfort zone a certain number of times, you begin to realize that most of those restrictions you think life has set in your way are really just self constructed boundaries.
It’s an awesome discovery to stumble upon really, because suddenly the world opens up to you and you realize that as long as you have the determination, you have an endless amount of opportunity at the tip of your fingers.
Which now takes us right back to our original conundrum of my dear friend choice. It’s almost ironic how you suddenly have this mental breakthrough only to find yourself frozen in indecision (forever my arch nemesis) on the other side.
When you can choose to do anything,
what in the world do you choose to do?
And even if you manage to make that decision,
how do you know it was the right one??
Like I said at the beginning of this post,
I really don’t know the answer to any of these questions.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not a veteran of this conundrum and can’t offer a few friendly tips to help you overcome that incredibly frustrating feeling of indecision.
First, make sure that whatever direction you decide to pursue is pointed towards your passions. You have one life, why in the world would you want to spend it doing something you don’t enjoy? (yes, feel free to cringe at how cliche that was, I already did) Also another cool thing about passions, they are usually great indicators of where your talents are. So when you follow your passion you simultaneously pursuing a life that will utilize those quirks that make you exceptional.
Second, for those of you (myself included, I blame the Italian side) who have too many passions to count, make sure you are following your values. Money and status are fun to have, but if you have to surrender your sense of human dignity in the process you will only be left with a hollow and miserable shell in the end.
Third and final, once you make a decision, fully commit to it. Don’t torture yourself with imagining how things would be if you had made a different decision, because then you won’t be able to fully enjoy the decision that you did make. As the wise Ron Swanson once said, never half ass two things, fully ass one thing.
And remember, these are only tips to help, not end-all solutions. Ultimately the decision is yours, make yourself proud and choose something epic.
So what do you do when you can do anything?
I think today I will take over the world and tomorrow I will eat chocolate chip pancakes in celebration.