Hi, I’m Shannon, and I’m an advice-column-aholic. From Elle‘s “Auntie” E. Jean to Salon’s Cary Tennis, theirs are my go-to pages. I typically get a couple Q-and-A’s from Auntie Eeee down while still standing by the mailbox, and, no matter the top headlines of the day, “Since You Asked” is my first click on Salon’s newsletter. So, recently, there was one that really made me think — and while I have thought of the nut of his advice often since, I couldn’t quite recall what the questioner’s issue was. To leave something – a job, a town, a relationship? honestly, no clue – or not to leave, to stay or to go. The eternal question, no? Anyway, Tennis generally allows for very long, very detailed questions. And, true to form, this one was lengthy, filled with details that set the scene, laid out the pros, the cons, the players, the action. So his verdict would be informed.
And you know what his answer was? Dispense with the pro/con list; stop worrying over whether this is the “right” thing to do. Whatever it is you’re doing, just do it, and do it well. Do it the best you can.
Kind of incredible. I daresay revolutionary. I mean, imagine that: if all of the details were irrelevant, and the only thing that mattered was that you do whatever it is you do well. To hell with whether it’s the right thing or the wrong thing.
In the writing of our book (now available for pre-order on Amazon — yipeee!), we’ve talked to women agonizing over everything: from the huge to the trivial. And one of the major commonalities is this: whatever the decision they face, they’re worried they’ll choose wrong. So many factors to consider! So many cases to be made, so many pros, so many cons! So many worries over figuring out what’s right. It’s human, of course. We are blessed with the power of rational thought. But is it also a curse? Do we get stuck in the spinning? And do we keep ourselves trapped there? After all, it’s easier to worry over figuring out what the Right decision is than it is to just decide to do something, isn’t it? So here’s a challenge: to factor Whether It’s Right out of the equation entirely, and just do something. And instead, focus your energy on doing that something well.