Big choices are being made in our house: my youngest is deciding what university he might like to go to. There are thousands of youngsters (and their grown ups!) all over the country going through this at the moment, having to make these choices without all the information they need as they won’t get their exam results until next summer.
It’s a crazy system but there you go! When you think about it it’s not a craziness that is confined to A Level students. We marry people, take on jobs, book holidays, have children, vote in elections (!!) and so much more without any idea of where that choice will lead us in the future.
Dwelling too long on that lack of certainty can be very unsettling and it can become hard to make any decision without getting caught in the dilemma of ‘what ifs’. I sometimes work with leaders who are trying to plan their or their organisation’s future but are stuck. They have studied the possibilities, the ‘map’ of what may be ahead, but uncertainty undermines their confidence and they feel unable to make decisions or choose next steps.
You don’t have to be a leader to have these moments of indecision. All of us can only choose what to do based on what we know at the moment. Deciding which turning to take before we’ve even got to the junction and seen the sign post is hard. All we know is the road we are on now and the way it is heading, and sometimes we just have to go with that, hoping that when the time is right the sign will come in to view.
The other thing we can know is that just because we have made a choice doesn’t mean we can’t choose to change it. So to all those A Level students out there, be bold and brave with the information you have as you make your choices, knowing that next summer, when the signpost of your A Level results arrives, you can choose again if you want to.
And it is very rare that that is not true for all of us too: life is full of options, so when new information arrives, when a new sign is revealed, we can follow the choice we have made or we can choose again. All we need to acknowledge is that we do indeed have a choice.
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