Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Decision Cycles

We are in a continuous cycle of decision-making. We contemplate decisions, act on decisions, and live with the consequences of decisions. As we go through these cycles, our emotions go through changes as well. It is rare that we feel anything—trust, fear, joy, sadness, excitement, or dread—the entire time that we work through our decisions.

Last month I packed up my life and relocated to California. The contemplation phase of making this choice was easy, fun, exciting, and brought me joy. Everything about making my decision was thrilling. I was going to a beautiful location featuring the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. I was starting a challenging and amazing position that seemed tailor-made for my professional experience and personal interests. I was moving to a walkable neighborhood that made my desire to park my car on weekends realistic. I was joining a laid-back yet social community that fit my personality. This move was perfect! However, acting on the move was far from perfect.

The action phase of my decision—my perfect decision during the contemplation phase—was stressful and emotional. The first moving company I hired was a no-show, five days before I was scheduled to leave. The driver that was supposed to ship my vehicle took it on a joyride. My perfect, no-brainer decision came with unexpected, major difficulty. I wondered if I missed the mark. How could something that started so perfectly become so problematic? Did I want this change so badly that I imagined more assurance and confirmation than actually existed? Had I made a mistake?

As you go through decision cycles, it's vital that you remain connected to your state of mind when you made your decision. Even the most beautiful, peaceful, and necessary decisions can come with pain, disruption, and challenges. The discomfort you may feel during the action phase of your decision should not shake your confidence and dilute your joy. Press forward. Remain stable. Hold on until you get to the satisfying state of living out the consequences of your decisions. I know I'm glad I'm living out the consequences of mine.

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