Open and Shut Case

Opportunities come and go. My first impulse is to imagine how I might fit into that scheme or place or plan.

Take house hunting. Of course you have some basic things in mind: how much bedroom or office space do you need? Is the yard suitable for children and/or pets? Is there a view from the kitchen window? How do you like the floor plan? What’s the neighborhood like in the evenings or during the day?

Underneath these questions is the bottom line: What would it be like to live here?

Again, my first impulse is to imagine what it might be like to live in that house in that neighborhood.

But before making a big decision like that it’s important to ask yourself why. Keep up with your friends and colleagues; move into a better school district; downsize or expand to fit your family; start building some equity.

Every decision has similar questions to ask. Moving, starting a family, choosing a job–these are not just one-time options but they will become part of your story for years to come. Are your answers the whole truth? Can you look in the mirror and tell yourself the real reason to do this?

I always have to take a giant step back to consider the drawbacks as well as the appeal. It’s seldom easy to reverse a major turn. I have to ask myself: “Is this consistent with my values and how I want to live my life?”

Since it will become part of my story, I want to know the truth about why, and I want to be able to tell the truth of my story in a couple of sentences. No matter how momentous the decision, some years down the road it will be told in one short paragraph.

What is my story and how do I want to carry it forward?

More to come . . .

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