I often find myself at a crossroads looking for the most practical path forward when I'm lacking clarity on how to progress.
The easy option is to find someone that has overcome a similar challenge and use their example as a guide (which presents its own set of problems).
The more constructive option for self-development is to dig into my own intuition to find the answer.
To do that I have two essential questions that I use to help me understand if I am making a thoughtful decision.
I ask myself, "If I do (insert thing)..."
1. "...will it move me closer to who I want to become?"
2. "...will it change how much I enjoy it?"
Let me explain.
When I am faced with a new opportunity or project I can go down rabbit holes of contemplation. Before I know it, hours and days can evolve into 'what ifs'.
So, it's important for me to catch myself early in this process to assess how aligned this new thing is with my long-term goals and aspirations.
When I do this it immediately becomes clear if it will help me become a better version of myself (i.e. the person I want to become).
By running things through this filter I begin to prioritise only the actions that will help contribute to my personal growth.
So, the first question acts as my compass - keeping me from straying too far away from my values and purpose.
The second question helps safeguard against burnout.
By reflecting on how an activity or commitment might impact my enjoyment of the thing, I cultivate self-awareness about its role in my life.
If something has the potential to diminish my joy or become a source of unnecessary stress, it's worth reconsidering.
For example, attaching lofty goals or monetary targets to my main passions adds unnecessary pressure - quickly diminishing the joy I once got from it.
Making sure I include these two fundamental questions in my decision-making process is a non-negotiable for me now.
They help me to not lose sight of where I am heading, and to ensure the path there is balanced and fulfilling.