They're Your Decisions—Make Them Worth It

📣 This blog post is sponsored by Tall Pines Conservancy. Support their mission to protect Wisconsin farmland, water resources, and open spaces by registering for their upcoming annual fundraiser, Ride to the Barns, taking place on August 14th!

Your journey is a collection of decisions. Snapshots that illuminate your path.

😲 It is estimated that adults make over 35,000 decisions in a given day. That’s more than 36 decisions per waking minute.

*** Proceed with Cautionspoiler alerts for The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig ***

In The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, Nora Seed has been given the opportunity to live and experience her other “lives” via the “midnight library.” Nora is able to select a book and experience different variations of her current life. So, perhaps in one life she dedicated her time to music and became a rock star, or in another she kept pursuing swimming and actually became an Olympic athlete. Neat idea, right?

Now, I won’t divulge further details of the events taking place in the book or the journey Nora embarks upon (and how she got the opportunity to live different variations of her life in the first place), but I do want to spend time talking about decisions and their impact, and this book provides a perfect foundation to do just that.

Like I outlined above, the character in The Midnight Library, Nora Seed, is presented with a rather unique situation: to live any version of her life, undoing any action (or, inaction) she regretted doing (or, not doing). Despite this, in the end, Nora elects not to choose any new variation of her life, instead opting to proceed with her life as is, which isn’t nearly as glamorous as being an Olympic athlete, let me tell you…

🤔 So, why did she do this? While Matt Haig likely has his own reasoning as to why his main character chose to go this route, I have my own.

We humans are beyond jedi-master level when it comes to decision making—heck we make over 30 per minute. For most decisions that we make, we are confident in making them, as we should be. I feel Nora felt the same way about her life, but perhaps needed some extra guidance from the “midnight library” to reinforce that confidence. Nora felt empowered by the decisions she made and wanted to own them, making her existing life one which she could begin to fully appreciate.

Oftentimes in life we are presented with a situation that requires us to render a decision which, seemingly, is of the utmost importance. So we make one, hoping that it was the “right” one. Each of those decisions, and the minor ones we deal with each day (selecting the proper amount of toothpaste to apply on our brush, rolling over after the alarm went off, etc.) have led you and I right here, doing exactly what we are doing. It's fascinating to think that every decision you’ve ever made has led you right to where you are today.

💪 Now, why I think this book is the perfect foundation for talking about decisions is that it showcases Nora’s power and control over her life by way of the decisions she makes. It was extremely powerful to read and understand just how much influence we can have on our lives, and even the lives of those around us. (Quick side note: If you couldn't tell, I recommend this it for free here, if interested).

Some of the more avid Helium Books fans may have noticed the opening of this post: “Your journey is a collection of decisions. Snapshots that illuminate your path.” It is the introduction to a podcast I co-host alongside fellow Helium Books co-founder, Ian, called Journeymen. A couple months back, we had a guest on the show and his primary message was that in everything you do, make it worth it. We run into forks in the road constantly and we will never know if the path we take will be the “right one,” so all we can do is make the path we do choose worth it. At the time I didn’t fully appreciate that string of words and it wasn’t until after I read The Midnight Library that this message really clicked. 💡

Remember when I talked about how every decision you’ve ever made has led you to where you are right now—exactly where you are supposed to be? How refreshing is it to reflect back on those many decisions you’ve made throughout the years, even the ones that worried you, and realize that it turned out okay. Like Nora Seed, we keep choosing to live the life we currently live, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the power, and wherewithal, to shape it how we wish. Quite literally, the sky's the limit for what we want to do and accomplish.

The only person getting in your way is you.

How do I know we have this power? First off, we are highly skilled in decision making (remember, we make 36 decisions a minute—we’re truly jedi-masters). Secondly, our decisions are the one thing we control that shape us and the lives we live. And lastly, even if we fret about if we made or will make the “right decision,” in the end, if we make our choices worth it, everything will turn out okay.

👉 Trust yourself. Trust the decisions you have made and trust the decisions you will make. After all, your journey is a collection of decisions...make them worth it.

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