Decisions and the expansion of self

An exploration of my decision making process.
Saturday, September 24, 2005

I have a decision to make. I have to decide for myself whether or not I want a job or don’t want a job. I don’t want a job. I already know that, but I will need a job at some point, or at least a source of income. But what I really mean is that I have to decide what I want to do with myself immediately after I finish up working at Edusoft at the end of October.

On the one had, I should take some real time off; time I will spend doing actually nothing. I will ask myself, “What is it I want to do with my free time?” and whatever it may be, I can do. That sounds great, but I fear that I will just waste my time, watching TV, writing in my blog, or doing other pointless excersises that do not contribute to my self worth.

On the other hand, I can start a new job. I can start one immediately even, as I practically have an offer already. The job is intriguing, and it would give me an opportunity to explore a new role in a product company, the role of director of engineering. That is a role I would have balked at a year ago, but my recent surge of interest in building a viable company makes this offer more interesting.

So I have to decide for myself a few things really. I have to decide whether I believe that opportunities arise all the time, and just because one looks really good now, it doesn’t mean that one even better will come along down the road. I do believe it is important to take opportunities as they arise, but I think many more will appear. They seem to have always in the past.

I have to decide whether I will feel productive and good about my life if I am not going to an office each day. And I need to figure out whether I will be able to fill my day doing the things I really want to do (or at least believe I want to do) or if I will just piss the time away. That in itself is an opportunity that I may not have again. How often can one just decide to take time off completely?

The hardest thing about this is that I hate making decisions in my personal life. Put me in a business setting, and I can make a decision without hesitation. But give me a chance to make a decision in real life, and I cower in the corner. A personal decision almost always results in change, something I’m not terribly comfortable with in my personal life. So, what would it be like if I conducted myself in my personal life as I do in business? And would it even be possible?

A new train of thought was triggered by a conversation with one of Jen’s friends on Thursday night. In reference to a man who had decided to get back with his wife for the sake of the children, even though it is quite clear that the kids have already been affected by their parents’ separation, she said that it hurt her to know he was taking a step in the wrong direction when he could have made a decision that led to an expansion of his life. He could have decided to stay divorced and used that chance to take a risk and grow as a human, to enter unknown territory and learn how to adapt.

That really seems like it might be the essence of our existence as sentient beings, which begs me to ask, “Will I expand myself by starting a job immediately or will taking time to truly discover what I want be better for me in the long run?” When I ask it like that, the answer seems quite obvious.