Trading Something That’s “Fine” For Something Better

Let's talk about the decision-making process.

Some people are in horrible circumstances, and while the logistics or inertia or fear of the unknown or fear of consequences may get in the way of making a change, the decision to make some kind of change generally isn't the hard part. Deciding something clearly “good” over something clearly “bad” (or deciding to get rid of something “bad”) barely even counts as making a decision. For example, if you're a manager over a team of people and one of them is a consistent underperformer, belligerent, energy-draining, late to work, and on top of everything else leaves dirty dishes in the communal kitchen sink – you may not like firing people, but the “decision” that this employee needs to go, is a pretty obvious one.  Choosing to remove something “bad,” and replace it with something better isn't usually too difficult.

Sometimes, however, we are faced with choosing between two bad options; the lesser of two evils, so to speak. This choice can be a bit more challenging. Then again, in a sense when only less-than-ideal options are available, it's kind of easy to let yourself off the hook: “Well, neither was a good option so it really didn't even matter which one I chose.” In these circumstances, effective, proactive decision making can make a big difference in your life. Generally speaking, these choices matter too. Choosing the better among bad options are incremental improvements in your life that can add up to much better circumstances (and better choices) down the road.

In terms of making a decision – remember, we're focusing on the decision-making process here – the hardest situation is when you are currently in a situation that is “fine” but you have the opportunity to choose something even better. In a sense… isn't it almost a curse-in-disguise to be in a situation that's not particularly objectionable, not painful, not filled with want, but also isn't where you know your best self wants to be? Like when you have a perfectly good sofa – comfy, not scratched up or stained, matches the living room décor – it's much harder to decide “that's gotta go!” than if it were all ratty and bedraggled.

We are not advocating that if you are in a relationship that isn't currently all fireworks and Hallmark cards that you should ditch it and find a better one. That is totally not the point!  The point is that if you want what's best for yourself and for your family (however you may define that) your standard should not be is it “alright” (as opposed to being truly awful) – but is it as good as it could be.

It's pretty easy to say this unfashionable holey sweater you never wear needs to go. It's much harder to say this perfectly good thing – that just isn't really serving a purpose, or the right purpose - has gotta go. That decision takes courage.

There are two important parts to this decision making process.  The first is letting go of the “okay” thing, and/or striving toward the really great thing. Sometimes, the right way to go about this is to become much clearer on who you are, what you want, where you want to go, what your values are, or what you think is the right thing to do. To find that North Star to aim toward. Sometimes, it's just a matter of letting go of the “alright” thing, in order to give yourself space, to be free of the clutter, to open yourself up to new experiences – or to the quiet, for a change.

Wanting more than “fine” is not just okay, it's necessary. You will not be your best self, you will not strive to do more in the world, you will not be a better person, parent, spouse, partner, child, or neighbor… if you just content yourself with “fine.” It's not selfish to want more than ho-hum – it's an act of courage, a service, to yourself and your loved ones.

We challenge you to make the decision to trade something that is “fine” for something that is better. If you don't know what that is yet, find ways to get some clarity. But even if you don't yet know, you can still make the decision to do so, and open yourself for what is yet to be.

If you are interested in our Workshop to get clarity on what you truly want in your life … please check it out here.  We offer this for Couples and Individuals.