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When You Can't Decide


When I was 27, I was living in my dream location in northern California, was working as a part of an integrative health clinic alongside world-class physicians, and had some friends who I cherish to this day, and yet, I knew that the next chapter of my life had to be in Korea.

My reason was simple and powerful: I had to learn enough Korean to be able to have full conversations with my mom. There was so much that I wanted to express to her, thoughts that I could not convey in English and have her understand. And I knew that there were things that she could not share with me because I could only understand Korean at a kindergarten level.

I didn't have enough funds to enroll at a Korean language institute, but I was lucky to find a small private dormitory in a popular university district where I made friends and was able to immerse myself in everyday Korean life and conversation.

I still have a lot of holes in my Korean language skills, but I'm thankful to know enough to be able to share meaningful conversations with my mom. Taking those 6 months in my late 20s to follow my heart to Korea was a decision that I got right, one that has greatly enriched my life and relationships.

My point: when I find myself not being able to decide on something, I accept that the right decision in that moment is no, not right now.

I love how Naval Ravikant expresses this idea. He explains that modern society is full of endless options. We live on a planet of 8 billion people and can connect with everyone through the internet. We have countless careers available to us.

We are not biologically wired to comprehend the breadth of our choices, as from a historical perspective, we evolved in tribes of ~150 people - when someone came along, they may have been our only option for a partner or friend.

Because many of our decisions can be long-lived, for us to move forward with a big decision, we should know on a visceral level that it's the right one in that moment.

Put another way, when you can't decide, the answer for now is no.

And the flipside: when you really want to do something, do it as soon as you can.


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