Sunday, June 28, 2009

Making Choices in Your Life

At one point in my life, every time I’d settled on path I wanted to take someone else would come along with a great piece of advice that made me feel like I should switch to an alternate path. Gosh if I had a dollar for every time I changed my mind since beginning grad school I’d probably be well on my way to becoming a millionaire. Alas since no one pays for such things I was forced to tread that old beaten path to becoming a millionaire…yup I decided to try my hand at acting. Okay, just kiddin’, although I wish I were partly kiddin’. I feel very inspired by Angelina Jolie :-).

Back to the point at hand – I felt I was getting so much advice that I really didn’t know what to do. “This would be a great application of your skills; you could make considerable money pursuing this career; you could live a fulfilling life if you did this…blah blah blah”…the list goes on. It was like I was getting advice to get clarity and then I needed more advice to make clarity of all the advice. It’s like what Barry Schwartz talks about in the “Paradox of Choice”- more choices don’t necessarily make you freer/happier but can really make you more paralyzed. That’s exactly how I felt.

It starts like this – you get advice 1, 2, 3, 4,….and so on..Then it goes “Which of these pieces of advice is good?” You get so much advice that you have to then sit down and think about which advice is best to take. Truth be told you can end up pretty confused….especially if some of that advice is conflicting.

My solution to this crazy scenario? Don’t ask a bunch of people for advice. (Ironically here I am giving you advice…lol). Have a few trusted people in your life that you turn to that can help you out in situations. These are people that you know have your best interest at heart and are relatively balanced people. Yes that means no talking to random strangers on the bus OR even random acquaintances.

I have a core group of friends and business associates that I appreciate and seek for personal and professional advice. Not all questions go to all members of the group, like I don’t ask my professional associates for personal advice. And some friends I don’t ask for business advice. I turn to those more experienced than I. Quality over quantity….remember that. Digging for diamonds in a pile of rubble is simply time consuming and frustrating.

I opted to narrow my choices by the metric of quality and it has worked pretty well for me. I’ve chosen KVI and the field of marketing and I’m very convinced this is what I’m supposed to be doing. There’s such a calm when you know you’re on the right path.

Be sure to watch Barry’s video above. It’s pretty thought-provoking.


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