Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions:

1) “What are the costs of inaction?” I find it can be helpful to fight fear with fear. Fears of acting are easily and immediately articulated by our “lizard brains” (thanks Seth) e.g. what if I fail? what if I look stupid? If you systematically and clearly list the main costs of inaction, they will generally overshadow your immediate fears.

2) “What kind of person do I want to be?” I’ve found this question to be extremely useful. I admire people who act bravely and decisively. I know the only way to join their ranks is to face decisions that scare me. By seeing my actions as a path to becoming something I admire, I am more likely to act and make the tough calls.

3) “In the event of failure, could I generate an alterative positive outcome?” Imagine yourself failing to an extreme. What could you learn or do in that situation to make it a positive experience? We are generally so committed to the results we seek at the outset of a task or project that we forget about all the incredible value and experience that comes from engaging the world proactively, learning, and improving our circumstances as we go along.

(Author: Dan Andrews)


What are the costs of inaction?

Not acting means regret. Not acting means that you feel as if you’ve failed at something because you know you’ve never tried. Someone told me that the greatest evil in the world isn’t hatred – it’s indifference. I can believe that.

What kind of person do I want to be?

I want to be a person that I could be proud of. I want to be a person that I can respect. I want to do great things and experience all that life has to offer. I want to be a person who isn’t afraid to take chances when warranted. I also want to be a person that others can look up to. I have a five year old sister and having her in my life is a reminder, every day, that I need to be the person that I want to be. After all, she has to have someone to look up to.

In the event of failure, could I generate an alternative positive outcome?

Yes. When it comes to failure, I learn from it. I hate experiencing it, but I always take away some sort of truth. There is great meaning in our challenges and when we stop and take a look at the steps we’ve missed or the wrong turns we’ve taken, we can always come out knowing something more about the journey as well as ourselves.

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