I was staring at a plethora of options at the paint store and quickly became overwhelmed with the number of choices and the nuances between shades. I could tell that one sample was different than another but have no real understanding as to the impact that the gradation has. Will I prefer swatch one when it is on my wall or would I be happier with choice number two (or 32 or 222)?

In the scheme of life, paint is an insignificant and minor decision but the lack of a “right” answer reminded me of an article I just read in Sports Illustrated*. Bryce Love shared his thinking that surrounded his decision to play football his senior year at Stanford University instead of participating in the NFL draft. He weighed the pros and cons – to continue his education toward his goal of becoming a pediatrician – or to capitalize on another dream while he has the stats and health to make millions. It is a predicament for anyone, let alone a 21-year old.

In the end, after speaking with his inner circle as well as players who stayed in college and others who entered the draft, he opted to return to Stanford. “No one pushed me in any direction, but they all said the same thing,” wrote Love, “that I can’t make a wrong decision as long as I follow my heart.”

It is a fallacy to believe that a “right” decision exists. In so many cases, from paint selection to career plans, there will be pros and cons on the path that comes after either choice. Don’t waste too much of your energy searching for that elusive false hope of certainty. Make your best call and move onward.

*”Sundays Can Wait: Why I turned down the NFL for one more season of college ball,” Point After section by Bryce Love, Sports Illustrated, August 27-September 3, 2018, p. 116.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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