Have you ever found yourself wanting to do something, but not knowing where to begin? Maybe you have the skills, the passion, the drive and the chops to write a book, but you have absolutely no idea what you want to write about. Or maybe your current job no longer suits your personality or needs, but you have no idea what else you would do instead.
Believe it or not, this is a good problem to have though many people get too caught up in the “not knowing” to embrace the massive opportunity. But before I get into the advantages of this situation, I first want to dissect the psychology behind it.
Back in 2004, psychologist Barry Schwartz published a book called The Paradox of Choice where he argues that the more choices one has, the more difficult it is for one to make a choice. Schwartz even goes so far as to say that current abundance of choice we as Americans are experiencing may be leading to depression.
Does this ring true in your life? How often have you left a store disappointed because you could only get four items and not six? Or maybe you’ve felt that pull of longing while you’re on your final days of vacation because you couldn’t visit all the places you wanted to.
For some people, having a lot of choices can be so overwhelming they choose to do nothing. That’s right; not changing, evolving, improving, moving forward or taking a risk is more appealing because the number of different routes one could take is so intimidating. And that brings us back to you. Being inspired is a beautiful thing, but not knowing what to do with that inspiration can lead us to a place of inaction. Let’s change that.
Whenever you feel yourself settling into frustration, anxiety or even sadness about not being able to act on your inspiration, tell yourself that you are one of the lucky ones. Why? Because you are inspired to do something specific (like changing careers or re-entering the workforce after having your baby) so you already have a starting point. Even more importantly, you have already eliminated a vast number of options.
So when that next bout of inspiration hits, be both open to it and seek out ways to continually cultivate it at a higher and higher level. Always pay attention, because inspiration may come from the place you least expect. And although you may not know what exactly to do with it, know that it’s there for a reason. Embrace the feeling, utilize that moment to do something association with it and stay optimistic.
When you feel it in your gut, dig deeper and take it as a sign that you’re on the right path.
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