Imagine your life as a hiking trip. Wandering through luscious fields and sunny forests, sometimes also through steep valleys and over high and dangerous mountains, on and on it goes, without a clear goal you stroll along without being able to go back.
Wandering through luscious fields and sunny forests, sometimes through steep valleys and over high and clouded mountains, on and on it goes, without a clear goal you stroll along without being able to go back. The only thing not changing along the way are crossroads and diverging pathways. Sometimes they are really big and clearly signed. Remember the one you had to cross with hundreds of signs pointed in different directions, labeled with names such as astrophysics, old classics, politics, architecture, photography, international studies, and so on.
How long did you stand there thinking about where to go, maybe you walked a few meters on one road and then decided to leap over to another path? Did you take the biggest road, clearly signed and very safe to walk on, or did you look around until you found that little, hidden path leading into a mysterious forest of surprising discoveries, or did you decide to create your own way by going into the wilderness off the beaten path?
Or do you still stand there at some crossroad not able to decide always turning back to other options out of fear of missing out on something?
There is an overwhelming amount of possible routes one could pursue. Especially at a young age, as pupils, students, young professionals, we are confronted with the burden of determining our future. Everything is possible, so we are told. The only problem: every choice forces us to give up on other possibilities. And then we end up pondering on what might have been, had we only chosen another career, another study, another city to live in.
And we take ages to decide, too many options paralyze us, we are afraid to choose because we think that we might lose our freedom of choice.
But this is the illusion. It is not the freedom of having a choice but the freedom to making a choice. We only fulfill our freedom by taking a leap into the unknown. If we don’t manage to decide we will just stand still and watch possibilities go by without ever following them.
So if you stand on the crossroad wondering what to do, take a rest, breathe, think, but don’t hesitate too much. Make a first step, follow your instinct and decide for one road. You might think about the other roads you left out but they are not important right now.
Enjoy the journey and look forward to the next crossroad!