How do you make a decision? This is what my daughter asked me this week. She wanted some advice because she felt afraid to make a mistake. She’s a smart, wise 24-year-old and very able to create her own future. Yet I wanted to help her think through the choices she is making. When I thought about it, it struck me that there are very few decisions in life that are ‘wrong’ in the same way that there is no ‘right’ way to live. We have to find out what works for each of us .. and the only way to do that is by trying things out. If we decide to quit a job, move to a new city, leave a relationship or commit to something new, however it works out, the process of change will teach us something. The new life situation we create may work out fantastically well. Or it may be full of conflict and challenge. However it goes, we will learn – about ourselves, about life, about other people and our relationships and about how we make decisions. So whatever decision we make in our lives will actually be the right one.
And then, I remembered what an old teacher of mine once said about life giving us what we need to grow. I think this is a way of seeing everything in life as a gift that can show us how to develop self-awareness and a deep connection to our inner world if we choose to accept the gift. When we have a choice to make, we can see this as life presenting us with an opportunity to become more of who we are. There isn’t a perfect life that we are supposed to lead, only the life that we choose with all its twists and turns, triumphs and stumbling blocks. And it’s in those moments when things go wrong that we realise we can handle a crisis, or that we have fantastic friends who support us when we need it or perhaps we find a deep strength and really know our own resilience. For sure, there’s no better feeling than riding the crest of the wave of life. Yet sometimes we might learn more from falling off our own surfboard and being turned upside down. Next time we’re out on the sea waiting for the perfect wave, maybe we’ll watch the surf more closely or perhaps take more of a risk. Whatever happens, it will be what we need.