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The 2 most important things you need when deciding what to do next in life.

Cat with front paws on wide stone step peering through an old, ornate blue door.

I’m sure you have ruminated on the traits, qualities, approach and mindset you need as you grapple with choosing what to do next in life.

In the face of uncertainty and indecision it seems to me we often turn to some well-known companions in the hope they will join us on our journey:

  • Confidence. Confidence says everything will feel easier.
  • A deep and comprehensive understanding of all the possibilities, pros and cons and how a potential decision will play out in 5, 10, 20 years’ time. This has master spreadsheet written all over it. Exhale deeply as every eventuality is covered.  Risk, be gone!
  • Certainty (my personal favourite). Especially from some outside force to affirm that you know it and feel it in your bones.
  • A plan. Very important to make traction investing precious resources in the right tasks at the right time.
  • A guarantee. Yeah right. The elusive guarantee.  We both know this is clutching at straws.

Let me invite you to send these sought after chaps on a long holiday (I’m talking at least a fortnight) and in their place (we won’t tell them this part) invite two new friends to stay:

Curiosity and exploration.

Whilst staying with you, allow curiosity to remove your self-imposed limitations, the judgement, the need for that spreadsheet and in their place bring lightness, fun (we know how much I value having fun) and new perspectives.

Couple this with exploration and you give yourself permission to investigate the things that pique your interest for no other reason than to see what happens when you follow it. Over the next two weeks, go on an adventure – let your curiosity lead and explore where it takes you.  You have nothing to lose.

  • If you have always wondered what it’s like to work on a farm, find someone who does and ask them.
  • If the skill of writing intrigues you, take a class, one of those deals on Udemy. Keep it low risk.
  • Always wanted to be your own boss? Talk to someone who is from your network or from your network’s network (you’ll be surprised who you might end up chatting to).
  • Maybe you’re developing an interest in geopolitics (good luck). Find an introductory book.

Then observe what unfolds, following the chink of light.

“The trick is to just follow your small moments of curiosity. It doesn’t take a massive effort. Just turn your head an inch. Pause for an instant. Respond to what has caught your attention. Look into it a bit. Is there something there for you? A piece of information? For me, a lifetime devoted to creativity is nothing but a scavenger hunt — where each successive clue is another tiny little hit of curiosity. Pick each one up, unfold it, see where it leads you next.”  Elizabeth Gilbert

It is here I leave you with fair warning: you may find in this early stage of figuring out what you want to do next in life that you become more comfortable with uncertainty and can resist the need for a plan and comprehensive understanding. Your confidence may grow and you might just start to enjoy the journey…

Photo by Uta Scholl on Unsplash.