Twin Dragons, ceiling mural, Kennin-Ji temple, Kyoto

Twin Dragons, Ceiling mural, Kenninji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

When it comes to making decisions, big or small, my go-to metaphor is a pair of battling dragons. Whether it’s over what to eat for dinner, what to work on next, or how to handle the difficult conversation we need to have with a family member, making decisions can be a struggle between our competing impulses.

Unfortunately, many people get so hung up over making the “right” decision, that they fail to take any action at all.

So the first newsflash here is, when it comes to decision-making . . .

There’s no “right” choice.

We never have all the information needed to know how things will work out in the end. There’s no crystal ball and we don’t control all the variables.

So with any decision you make, it comes down to going with the best option you can—based on what you know at the time. You take your best guesstimate choice and you cook the dinner, you choose what to work on, and hope that the talk with your loved one goes OK.

Of course, you may make a decision that doesn’t turn out as you’d hoped. In that case, you take the next action needed to deal with the consequences. It doesn’t help to beat yourself up or blame the dragon you went with. The second newsflash is that in the end . . .

The getting into action is what matters most, because when you’re stuck in indecision, you’re not participating in life.

I don’t know about you, but I want to stay committed to being in forward motion, dealing with life head on.

In the past few weeks, I heard from a number of musicians who were fence sitting: not making a decision over whether or not to really go “all in” on booking the concerts they wanted. They weren’t sure if they were willing to invest the time and the effort. I get it.

But some of these musicians sounded defeated. Some thought that their program offerings were “too niche.” Some blamed the economy and said nobody’s getting the bookings or the fees they want these days. Others said they worried that their promo materials weren’t telling the “right” story.

The sad part of this, from my perspective, is that some of these musicians weren’t taking any action at all on this. Others were trying but not really “going for it.” Reading between the lines, it almost seemed like they wanted a guarantee—to know in advance that if they really invested their time and effort, they’d get the bookings they wanted.

But life doesn’t work that way. There’s no guarantee.

You have to take real action to find out what’s possible—and you adjust as you go. It’s all an experiment. The one rule is you have to participate to find out what you can do in this world.

The main thing is to make the decision and move forward in life. To not be caught in the would-a, should-a, could-a trap. Because the third newsflash is . . .

NOT making a decision is still a decision.

And it’s the one that prolongs the problem you’d like to resolve. Whether the issue is your empty calendar—or your empty stomach, your need to get work done, or the conflict with a loved one.

If you really do want to book more and better concerts, I’d say make the decision and invest the time and effort. The time of your life is NOW.

So back to the twin dragons as metaphor.

For me, dragons are an aid to decision making.

I respect their fiery opinions. Their ferocity. In myths they make excellent guardians, protecting the treasure of what is most precious (a pearl, a pile of gold, a heart, or the quest to become the artist you are meant to be.)

What I mean is I believe in acknowledging our competing urges and working out how to make decisions that move our lives forward.

Most of all, I believe in taking action.

If you want to have an introductory coaching session with me to see how together we might help you get your career in to full forward motion, book a time with me HERE.

Here’s to your decision making on the road to your better future,

PS: The amazing dragons above are big as life on a ceiling mural in the Kenninji Temple (Kyoto). I got to visit them in 2012. (Wow, a lot of water under the bridge. But the dragons abide.)

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