One of the benefits I find from getting older is that I have become focused on moments in a new way. Whether its moments that I share with my friends, moments I share with my colleagues or moments by myself, I'm much more aware of time "crystallizing" in a way that it never did in the past. One such moment came the other day after a conversation I had with a friend who was concerned about an upcoming move in his career. He is lucky enough to have a number of good options available to him, but wasn't sure how to go about narrowing down those options in order to get closer to a decision. Ironically, we shared this kind of cross-roads before. Ten years ago, we both found ourselves facing critical junctures in our lives at the very same time, and even though it was invaluable to have each other as support, we both became frustrated by the endless "back-and-forthing" trying to predict how each decision might work out. We would spend hours and hours iterating over all of our potential options, and trying to look into the crystal ball and see where the happiest/most successful future lay. Now that we were older, we found ourselves back trying to look into that crystal ball again and find him a happy/successful career future. After going through some of his options for an hour or so, and starting to experience the familiar sense of "back-and-forthing", a moment crystallized: Why not take advantage of the time he had before having to make a decision and just TRY one of the options out TODAY/NOW/ASAP? Not quit his current job and take another blindly. Not announce to his current boss that he was about to make a major move. Not anything drastic at all. Just "try-on" some of the options and see how they feel. Take a lunch with someone doing what he might want to do. Write an article about another of the options. Do research on the latest trends in yet another of the options. Attend a meeting with other professionals. Join an organization and read through trade magazines. Just try the options on and see how they feel. Do something today that moves him towards one of the options, and see how it "fits". But do it NOW. Don't wait for anything to become more clear before starting the process of exploration and "efforting". We were both confident his instincts, personality and experience will tell him what to do from there. In that moment, the reality of how easy it was to get stuck in your head, and how imperfect the head typically is at predicting outcomes crystallized, and things started getting more concrete right away.
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