Expect the Good, Accept the Bad
My husband and I have very opposite ways of making decisions. He is an eternal optimist, and he can look at any situation and find 15 positive outcomes. He'll point them out one after one, and, when he's done talking, you would think that there would be no reason not to make such a choice. He can easily convince himself that the best things are to come. I, on the other hand, am a realist with a built in capacity to worry. I can look at the same decision on the table, acknowledge the potential for good, and then voice 80 fears that I've developed as he's been talking. "I know it could be great," I usually say, "but, what if?"
It's probably good that we make decisions together instead of separately.
I recently did a goal setting workshop with my team and the local Lululemon team in Colorado Springs. When I envisioned where I would be in five years, one of the first things that I wrote down was that I wanted to be settled, but challenged. To elaborate, I typically make life decisions that leave me feeling challenged but completely unsettled and uncomfortable. I will live my days with a lot of doubts and feelings that things aren't squared away yet. In contrast, I've also been through seasons of life where I feel too comfortable, and in turn, I'm extremely bored and feel like I'm not using any of the gifts I've been given.
I believe that finding this balance is indicative of a shift in perspective: learning how to continually challenge myself but trust in the process and the One who made the process. I don't think there's a magical age or stage of life when one can become "settled" and still feel like they are chasing after a dream. In fact, I think it's contradictory to believe that we can run the race set out for us and be comfortable. Don't agree? Have you ever gone running? News flash - it's not comfortable.
I'm not looking for an escape from making tough decisions because I firmly believe that taking risks is a necessary step in avoiding mediocrity. But, in order to maintain a positive mindset through life changes and big decisions, I believe that we should approach every decision expecting the good, but accepting the bad. There's no point in assuming that a negative outcome is coming your way. That will only leave you defeated, unconfident, and unassured. In contrast, ignoring the possibility of a bad outcome can also leave you blind sighted when things don't work out your way. We need to chase after things with hope in our hearts but realize that unexpected things can always get in the way.
“My greatest fear for my life and yours is that we'll just get busy and distracted and settle for a mediocre, unexamined life. It's that we'll just settle into life as usual and never become the person God intended for us to be.” -Pete Wilson, Plan B