Apparently, the amount of decisions that you consciously make in a day is something like thirty-five thousand. Just thinking about it puts my tummy in a twist: should I get a smoothie or just water? Or both? What should my subject line say? Answer the call or text back later? Black dress or green khakis? Which filter!?!?
My guess is that the majority of those decisions literally have no relative importance to the outcome of your life. They’re not game changers. They’re not soul busting, earth-shattering decisions. So you make them. Quickly. Mostly decisively (other than the Instagram filter). Done.
But what about the big decisions? The ones that matter. They matter to your future. They affect people you love. They set you on a specific course. Like where do you go to college? What job should you be doing in the future? What should you major in? What career path should you take? Should you date them? Should you move away?
These are big questions. Life questions. And they matter. But what happens when you literally cannot decide what to do?
A question I get asked all the time now that I have a job lined up and my life is seemingly in order, is what do I decide when I don’t know what to do? How do I decide when I don’t know what to do? What do I do when I don’t know what to do? Well, they’re all pretty much versions of the same issue: being totally stuck. Totally frozen. Unable to decide.
The answer? Do nothing. And yet, do something.
Ok, ok I know it’s a bit (totally?) contradictory. But stick with me and I think you’ll get what’s really going on here — That doing nothing and yet doing something in order to decide are actually two sides of the same coin.
The answer is completely contradictory, but completely necessary.
When you don’t know what to do and when you don’t have an answer…literally do nothing. Don’t force yourself to make a decision that doesn’t feel right. Realize that a lack of making a decision is a decision in and of itself. If you can’t figure where you want to live, don’t decide until you know. Until the fibers of your being speak to you and let you know the right course of action. If you don’t know what the next step in your career is, then don’t go out looking for jobs and trying to find something new just for the sake of it. Do nothing, and don’t force the funk. Your path, your next decision, will unfold for you if you allow it. If you listen to your gut. If you ask the #universe to show you the way.
And yet, when you don’t know what to do…. when you don’t know what is next… do something. Anything. Other than deciding. If you’re concerned about what major to take, sneak into a class to see if you even like what the upperclassmen are studying. If you have no idea what your purpose is, try looking for hobbies that set fire to your soul. You’ll know when you’re in your zone. If you really, really can’t make a decision, sit a few people whom you respect down and ask for their wisdom. When you’re frozen and indecisive, doing something other than the deciding will ultimately lead you to the right decision.
Here’s the deal – no one really knows what they’re doing. Everyone is just trying to figure out life. Everyone is simply trying to make the best decisions with the best information they have at the moment. You’ll mess it up. You’ll get it right. It’s all part of the process! So if you have no idea what to do, do nothing for now. And also do something.