Super serious decision making

Big decisions can be tough. Like really tough. So much can weigh on the decision. Jobs, relationships, houses.  Careful consideration of all the options is often the way we approach things. But sometimes even after all the careful consideration the decision still isn't clear. So what do you do - flip a coin? Resort to asking a Magic 8 Ball? Yes. 

I have actually helped people make important decisions by asking a Magic 8 Ball questions.  For real. A good friend and I used to ask a Magic 8 Ball questions, and then we would analyze how we felt about each answer. Sometimes we would ask over and over again until we would get the answer we would want.  It was fun and actually helpful. It isn't always doing what the ball tells you do to, but listening to yourself when that little 20-sided die appears. Didn’t like the answer, then the ball knows nothing. Tells you exactly what you want to hear and all of a sudden it was the real deal. 

Take these somewhat silly examples: 

Question: Should I study for my exam ? 
Ball response: My reply is no. 
Self: But then I'll fail. Stupid Magic 8 Ball doesn't know anything.   

Question: Should I buy that really amazing jacket? 
Ball response: Without a doubt.  
Self: My thoughts exactly. 

Question: Will that cute guy with the blue eyes call? 
Ball response: Cannot predict now.
Self: Come on and call already! 

Ok, so these examples might seem silly.  And to be honest they are. But sometimes silly can be helpful. What these examples demonstrate is the conversation we can have with ourselves when we are thinking about decisions. We want permission and validation to feel the way we do.  We already know we should study, we want permission to buy the jacket, and boy do we hope that cute guy with the blue eyes calls. (He did). 

When we hand over some of the decision power to an inanimate object such as a Magic 8 Ball, we can get a sense of what we really want when were just humming and hawing only moments ago. Sometimes we are looking for someone or something to give us that push we need or permission to do what we really want to do. 

Lets switch some of these silly questions out with some more adulting type questions.  

Question: I am completely unqualified for that job and it'll take me all night to get my application in. Should I even bother applying ? 
Ball response: My reply is no. 
Self: But it would be so great if I got it! Stupid Magic 8 Ball doesn't know anything.   

Question: I have a great job but would love to go to back to school. Is it worth the risk? 
Ball response: Without a doubt.  
Self: My thoughts exactly. 

Question: Will there be a perfect time to make a career move?  
Ball response: Cannot predict now.
Self: Probably no perfect time - ok, lets do this! 

Sometimes we need a little nudge to move us to where we want to go. Taking risks can be scary. Do we really want to invest the time when it probably won’t work out? Do we want to put ourselves out there just to be rejected? It is so easy to talk ourselves out of putting in an effort because we are scared. But if we aren’t going to dream big and push ourselves then what are we are going to be left with? Safety, predictability, the status quo. And sometimes that might be the right thing to do. Buuuuttt… why not live life to its fullest? Why not try the new job? Why not follow your passion? 

signs point to yes

In these last examples the Magic 8 Ball hasn't made the decision. It can't - the ball is just a ball.  But it is giving some insight into the decision that we want to make. Sometimes it tells us what we want and we do it. Or it helps clarify that is what we want deep down is what the opposite of what the Magic 8 Ball said. Even sitting there wishing for a specific answer to appear in that little blue plastic window is insight into our complicated and beautiful minds. 

Am I saying that you should buy a Magic 8 Ball and make all important life decisions by listening to its direction? No. Am I saying that perhaps we should find a way to listen to our inner voice when life is loud and crazy around us? Yes. Absolutely yes. 

This is not going to work every time. Some decisions are going to be really tough, and sometimes there is no one right decision. (Two right decisions? Whaaaaat???).  But this might be the start you need to start listening to your inner voice.  And listening to that voice when we have so many other voices - parents, significant others, friends, social media - bombarding is the only one that is going to make sure that we are truly happy. And no, we shouldn’t ignore the opinions of those closest to us, especially if those decision can impact their lives as well. But we should’t allow ourselves to be confined to their opinions, just as we wouldn’t hand all decision power over to a toy. 

What would career question would you ask the Magic 8 Ball?