I think I am quite fortunate in that in life thus far I have had very few difficult decisions to make. Plenty of big ones, but for most of them the answers came easily. Do I move to Florence to study for a PhD? Why yes, yes I do. Do I buy a beautiful house and move hundreds of miles away to the stunning Yorkshire countryside? I’ll start packing.
Others, not so easy. There are two types of tough decisions I think. The first is where you have a straight choice between options, and whichever you choose, some sort of emotional turmoil is involved. The kind of scenario where you’re only faced with clouds, and have to look hard for the silver linings. My only example of this was a decision to end a previous relationship – very hard at the time, but absolutely the right thing for both of us. The second type is where you have to make a choice of some sort, but the options are completely eluding you, i.e. something has to change, but you don’t know what. This is what I feel I’ve been facing the last year or so. I talked in a previous post about my realisation that the law career wasn’t working for me, or rather, finally allowing myself to acknowledge it, and it was obvious I needed to take steps to change things. But what steps? How? What should I do instead?
Circumstance has meant that these steps have actually been rather easier than I thought, and I suddenly find myself in a place where change has happened without even having to make the tough choices. So how has this happened? I read a post by Breanna Rose the other day which really resonated with me – in every situation, think about what would make you happiest, and do that. Even if there seems to be no good option, there’s a silver lining there somewhere. Sounds incredibly selfish, I don’t mean riding roughshod over others or anything like that, I mean in terms of my life decisions, I have been letting myself be guided by the pursuit of happiness, and it is working. It has meant that rather than making one big, tough decision, things have gradually fallen into place over a series of smaller, less tricky choices. I feel as though I have been being pulled along the right path without ever really having to think too hard about what that was, just doing what makes me happy.
This post was getting really long going through my personal steps, so I’ll save that tale for another day, but for now, I’d just like you to think about the last time you had a hard decision to make, and how you solved it. Did you put your happiness first, or were you more practical? Heart, or head? Was it a straight choice, or did you make a series of little choices to add up to a bigger picture? And how did it work out? And if you’re facing a tough decision as we speak, consider thinking about the consequences of the various options for your happiness, and maybe go for the one that maximises it! Let me know how it goes.
So, whilst my post didn’t include an awful lot of practical advice, this brilliant article from Stylist Magazine does. I wholeheartedly agree with everything – all the thoughts I’ve had in this career-change process are covered here, with expert advice too. I am delighted that they chose to feature my career change from lawyer to freelance editor/blogger as a case study – do have a read for some proper help and inspiration!