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Decisions Decisions

Making decisions in life is hard. Its a worry. Its a moment in time where all the comforting possibilities are whittled right down to just a few. Its tempting to think of those as limited to success or failure. Maybe even partial success but its more complicated than that.screen-shot-2014-07-28-at-10-38-59-am-e1406558423571

Ive taken the decision to start businesses, leave businesses, go back to University and even more significant and terrifying decisions in my personal life. To be fair, I think Ive done a good job so far. So far so good.

But how do you know if a decision is the right one? Is there a way to be sure that whatever you pick is the best choice? That it will surpass anything and everything that might have been?

Sorry but Nope.

You can’t know. You’ll never know for sure. You can't examine all of your possible futures and thats just tough.

But, you do know one thing and thats the thing that really matters. No matter how things play out, you will gain from the experience.

That something could be financial, educational, or it could just be a lesson learned. Perhaps a particularly tough one. Its irrelevant, because what you can say for sure is that the results you end up with will never amount to zero.

That decision could end up being just another decision you made in a long string of them. It could also be huge. But the point is you can’t try to quantify it before it has played out. Don’t try to put all the weight of the world in the decision.

A decision is just a single moment in your career. In the scheme of things it really doesn’t matter as long as you’re moving forward. Stop worrying about the things that don’t matter! Trying to figure out whether this is the moment that you “made it” will keep you from moving forward. And it will make it much harder to decide between everything you have going on. Which option will get me my “moment”? Why will it get me “there”?

What’s important is that you decided to do anything at all in the first place.

And what’s likely is that whatever “moment” you’re looking for hasn’t happened yet.

Spend all your time in the in-between space, the time between starting and stopping.

And remember that whatever decision you make, it will get you somewhere.

So go on. Jump. What's the worst that can happen?

Decisions aren’t ever right or wrong.

Your career hasn’t made it or not made it.

The magic is in the jump.

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My first jump

The overwhelming feeling during my first static line jump was that I had to resign myself to dying, if that was what was going to happen that day.

Sitting in the open side of an Cessna at 3200 ft and looking at the ground wheel of an aeroplane close enough to be able to touch it can do strange things to your mind when you've never done it before. It was cold because I was at altitude, because the side of the plane was missing and because I was terrified. I was sat on the floor of the plane with my right leg dangling in space and my left one kind of hooked up in front of me and I knew there was no way I wasnt going to jump. That may be why I was so terrified.

I could see the ground way below but I wasnt really able to focus on it. My heart rate and blood pressure were probably through the roof but I didnt notice it. I only noticed that I was terrified. So then came the shout, “Head up! Go!” I didnt think for a second and just launched myself out of the door. I immediately felt like I was going to flip over onto my back as I could see the plane directly above me and then moments later the static line snapped tight and pulled me forward as it pulled open my rig. I realised I had been holding my breath instead of counting and exhaled the word “parachute!” as I looked up and saw it open and above me. I felt like I’d just won the lottery. I was overjoyed for a second and once I’d done my checks I waited to hear the radio in my ear telling me what to do but nobody spoke. I thought I better start planning how I was going to land for myself. I felt OK I guess until I looked down past my feet at the distance between me and the ground then I decided only to look ahead. Thankfully the voice eventually talked to me and guided me down to earth.

Walking back to the hangar I felt overjoyed. I wanted to cry but I didnt. I talked to anybody that would listen to me as the adrenalin drained away and then somebody asked me if I wanted to go again. I did and so I did.  I was hooked. I’ve nearly done 500 jumps now and I cant ever imagine not being a skydiver now. It changed me forever.
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