It’s hard enough in life to make decisions without the shadow of anxiety being cast over our view. Standing at a coffee shop and deciding what you want to drink is a chore, with all of these different frappuccinos, macchiatos, unicorn concoctions.
Now let’s add a little voice in your head reminding you of the people standing behind you, waiting for you to make your order. You have been standing in line for five minutes waiting on your turn at the counter and, even though you were texting your friend about work or class, you know the people behind you have their minds made up already. The only thing holding them up is you, taking forever to decide what you want to drink out of the endless choices on the menu. While this little voice is now taking up your complete thought process, you realize you have forgotten to decide on a drink, so you say the first thing that came to your mind and hope it’s good.
Now let’s decide what to do with our lives! There are infinitely more variables in life than coffee, and the path we choose may end up a dead end. Being constantly reminded of your past failures, the people who you have let down, the people who are counting on you not to let them down, the state of the economy, the state of our nation, the state of your room, and all the other pressures of life can be too much to handle. When the complexities of life are too much to bear, let us try and simplify things. There is only one thing that can calm the storm of anxiety building in your head, and that is to cut out all the complexities and focus on what actually matters. Take a moment, take a breath, clear your head, and decide what you want. The Avett Brothers put it in a very simple, yet elegant way. They say, “Decide what to be and go be it.”
When we break down the choices we are faced with to their simplest form, this is where we find clarity. We can take this statement and apply it to anything in our lives, simply decide what you want and get it. As it turns out, most of the time, all the other factors will fall into alignment for us. If they don’t, don’t stress about it, you learned from it and will make a better choice next time. When you break the problem down to its simplest form, decisions come easier. That is not to say that cutting out all the extra issues is an easy task. In fact, this can be one of the hardest things to do. However, with practice and persistence, simply taking a moment to focus on the real question will make it very hard on that little voice to get you anxious and flustered.
So next time you are getting stressed out over a decision, whether it is what type of coffee to get, what type of car to buy, or even what you want to do with your life, simply decide what you want and go get it.