“One option is no option. Two options is a dilemma. Three options is a choice” ~ Anthony Robbins
I’ve paid particular attention to this quote over the past few weeks, as I make my way into a working life that involves more of a choice and less of a dilemma. Becoming more thoughtful about what I select to do has become one of the most important things I can give focus to, because it is through the art of selecting that will lead to choices that I want to have, be it in work, life or leisure.
With the recent shift in my work situation, there has emerged a significant amount of additional freedom. But that additional freedom has had additional costs as well, and I’ve only started to come to terms with that. Some of the costs include:
- A lack of consistent, ongoing income – from a single source. This is the first time that I’ve really adopted the freelance career as a whole. I’ve always had a regular paycheck from one source, which many freelancers that I’ve talked saying it is is something that they’d enjoy the luxury of having.
- Looking for work. While I’m starting to make some money from my own projects, it’s not nearly enough to pay the bills.1 So I’m spending time and energy looking for work that I hadn’t before – as my single source of freelance income is no longer there. This is requiring a lot of “front end” work, like setting up profiles on freelancing sites. The payoff will come, but it’s coming at a price at the moment.
The other costs are not really costs that I wasn’t willing to take on. Working on my own creative projects (like my book, for example) at a much more focussed and heightened level would be one of these “costs” that come along with my renovated working life. These are benefits of my decision to forge out on my own, not liabilities. If I was to consider them otherwise, then it wouldn’t have been worth changing my work situation at all.
The decision to move on – and move ahead – has led to circumstances that currently leave me with more decisions to make. The difference is that the decisions I now face have more certain results than the big decision I made just a few weeks ago. If I don’t look for work, I don’t make enough money to support my family. There’s really no decision there. My selection is limited because of a much bigger decision made that also – oddly enough – limited my selection as well.
My prior set of circumstances gave me little wiggle room to work on my own projects. By selecting to change my circumstances, I selected my own projects over someone else’s work over the long term. I also selected to limit my options over the short term until I can put myself in a financial situtation that will increase my options over the long term.
I can always select to attempt to enter a similar set of circumstances that I had just left behind, but because I’m certain of the outcome I am less likely to do so. It’s the uncertainty that propels me forward, keeping me away from what is completely known and into areas that are unknown.
Selection of the right things at the right times leads to a life of fulfillment and wonder, which means exploring the known and unknown together. A lack of options to select from limits all of that.
The additional freedom I now have gives me the clarity to improve my ability to select. By improving in that skill set, I’m improving my life as a whole.
That’s exactly why I know I made the right selection last week, no matter the costs. Because what it is leading to is priceless.