Decisions create clarity. It’s a little like when I only spot spelling mistakes after I publish a tweet or hit send on an email.
Marriage: I didn’t know how good it was until I dared to be vulnerable and commit
Kids: I had no idea about the joy and love I would tap into until they arrived.
Investing time or money: I always have the urge to learn more or understand the downside and risk mitigating moves on the table. It’s paralyzing. It’s after I say yes that energy is freed up and power of momentum kicks in. Making a decision is like releasing the hand brake on a revved-up car.
Clarity after a decision isn’t like turning on a light switch. Sometimes it requires perseverance and a grind. That’s where courage and fortitude come in. It’s like that first night moving to a new home. The first night for me is always tough. Maybe I hear the neighbor for the first time or the sounds of traffic wafts through the window after everyone has gone to bed. It’s the same with starting a new job, and I’m completely out of my comfort zone and am looking back at what I’ve left behind.
If there were clarity before a big life decision, then it would be easy. Preservation of optionality is the enemy of momentum. Accept there will be unknowns, do the homework, understand risk as best you can, and then commit to a decision. Nothing is risk-free, and if you think it’s risk-free, then you haven’t done your homework.
One caveat: Some of the best ideas and companies were started because the founder wasn’t aware of the downside. Ignorance is bliss, but it also allows for a quick decision and resulting momentum. I think this is the exception rather than the rule.