How I Make Big Decisions

I have been contemplating a couple of big decisions in my life recently. And it is hard to know which direction you should take. Although I do not have all the answers, I do have a process that might give you guys a clue as to whether you should go down the path that you are contemplating.

Whenever there is something that I think I should do or want to do, I first learn everything I can about it. Luckily, because of the internet, this is pretty easy to do, you can often find “day in the life…” videos of the exact thing you are looking for. During this process I am looking for what it’s like, how to get there, and what I need to get there.

During this educational phase, you should be asking yourself, “can I see myself doing this?”, “How long can I do this?”, “am I willing to sacrifice the amount of time required?”.

It is also helpful to make a detailed pros/cons list.

Now after doing so, you should not make your choice then, because often times knowing something intellectually is not enough. Experiment with the lifestyle that you are thinking about adopting. Meaning, try to live like the person that you are contemplating to become for a couple of weeks or so, and see if the lifestyle is for you.

Let’s say you want to be a chef, try to carve out a couple days a week, where you stand in the kitchen for 5 hours chopping vegetables, and cooking over a hot grill.

Let’s say you want to be a surgeon(hopefully you have already gone through medical school), practice suturing standing up all night every couple of days.

You want to create an experience for yourself that is as close to the real thing as you are capable of. If you can intern, or shadow the profession or skill that you are looking at, that will be perfect.

After doing so a couple of times, you have to do it a couple of times, because you might just be so excited the first time, that your experience will not be as honest as it could be. Doing it a couple of times will allow the excitement to go away, and you can ask yourself honest questions as to how you feel.

After running through the experiment completely, then I believe you will be as ready as you will ever be to make the decision of whether the choice is right for you.

It’s that simple,

-Sam

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