Bad Decisions

Today one of my friends said that I am “prone to bad decisions.” This made me laugh because it has some historical accuracy. However, I pointed out to her that I prefer to think of them as “bold decisions.”

I am going to use a few quotes from Mark Twain, a favorite philosopher of mine:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

“Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”

Individually, I enjoy both quotes. The former encourages one to chase dreams and face fears. And the latter reminds one that the only way to gain experience is to have experiences!

When one combines the two is where the magic happens. Making those bold decisions seems easier when one reminds themself that the worst outcome is that they will have learned something. Either about oneself or the world around them.

What is not said is the opposite side of the coin. The decision made against the risk leads to ruminating on what if, no experience gained, and no expansion of one’s world. If one frames their thought process like this, the higher risk decision may be to not make that leap.

I am obligated to add that this does not mean one should pursue every whim. I think this needs to be reserved for decisions with purpose. Namely, those involving people and experiences; specifically new experiences with the right people.

Dreams that focus on experiences and people are worth pursuing. Dreams that focus on the material will only lead one to wanting more. I will take a dream of my own to draw the distinction.

I want to buy a sailboat. This is a frivolous expense and one that will continue to cost me money year over year. I know this, and yet I still want one because of what it can provide.

I want to get better at sailing and do this through weekend trips around Lake Michigan. I also want to try living on a sailboat for a prolonged period; possibly averting a rent and/or mortgage in the process. This will force me to further downsize my possessions as well. And last, I want to take friends out on the boat and enjoy their company.

The experiences the boat will provide are more important to me than the thought of being a boat owner itself. That is why I believe it to be a dream worth pursuing and accept the risks along the way.

I encourage everyone to analyze their dreams to ensure they are the right ones, narrow their focus to the top one or two, and then go after them.

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