How To Make Hard Decisions Easier


Forty-five minutes ago I sat on the floor and told that 14 year-old son of mine I am sorry I didn’t get more time with my great-grandparents but especially my paternal great-grandfather.

He was the only great-grandfather I got to meet so it is possible I am not giving my maternal one enough credit, but we go on what we know as much as what we think we do.

So I choose him, a man who shared the same last name as I do, but stood 6 feet tall, had blonde hair and blue eyes.

Did I mention I am 5’10, have black hair and hazelish-green eyes?

Can You Trust Your Memory?

Since he died when I was around eight my memories are not as solid as I would like them to be and most of what I know is what I have heard, the bits I remember and the photos I have.

The point of all this is I am curious about what we share in common besides genetic material and our lineage. I know there is more, I know there are some expressions he passed down that have come into my possession. 

I am curious about what kind of man he was and would have liked to have had the opportunity to hear his thoughts and ideas about life.

Would a man who left Europe so that he wouldn’t have to run from the Cossacks or be conscripted into the army think of my challenges as being silly and relatively easy or would he feel otherwise.

What counsel would he give? Would his words help or would he shrug his shoulders and tell me it was up to me to figure it out.

Based upon the my father, uncles and grandfather I say he would tell me he couldn’t tell me what to do and that some of the challenges I have face are mine alone to figure out.

Like Old Al said above, I feel certain this is what he would say but I don’t know if it is.

Certainty would be nice but life doesn’t come with guarantees, manual or handbooks. All I have to inspire me to keep moving is knowing when it comes to overcoming adversity and challenges I have a perfect record.

C’mon Dad

That teenager of mine says I am manipulating the truth and that I haven’t got a perfect record because there are moments I have failed.

I smile and tell him he is partially correct. In school I failed a test or two and in life I have had a few things not go my way.

Had to sell my house because his high flying father was brought low by the recession. Got fired a time or two, quit a job and moved around a bit and have dealt with a bit of uncertainty.

But I told him I don’t see these things as he does because he looks at life from a very narrow perspective because he hasn’t lived as long or done as much as I have.

He doesn’t know the details about why dad won’t put his life on Slideshare but he does know something about the mission for 2015.


What he doesn’t know is how many of the decisions I have made and are making are based upon this gut feeling I am following.

He doesn’t know how I stare at Einstein’s quote and think about how badly I want to know so that I can make the right decision but I don’t talk about that with him.

Don’t talk about it because right now I want him to focus to learning how to make hard and easy decisions based upon logic and reason.

That teenage brain isn’t fully formed yet so I don’t want him to apply skills he hasn’t developed yet.

What that means is that some of the gut decisions I make include a ton of outside data called experience. It involves my being able to look at experiences and add a dash of judgment and insight into it and feel relatively confident that I am getting it done.

Still it doesn’t eliminate how much of this is me dwelling in possibility and trusting my gut to not lead me astray. I can’t live as I did any more. Can’t do as I have done because that man died a fiery death.

Burned out, choked out and buried.

This man is making different choices. This man has decided to take chances he once refused to take and make moves he once feared because it is time.

There is no more holding up a finger to try to figure out which way the wind blows or if it is going to rain.

I am on the tail end of one path and the start of a new one. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that because I want to stick that finger up in the air.

But my heart and my gut tell me I am doing the right thing and that even though I have stepped out of my comfort zone it is going to all work out.

I couldn’t have done this before because my attitude was too close to the one Bruce Wayne has in the clip below. I was certain I knew all that I needed to know so making some of these choices was silly.

Logic and reason made it clear I was right.

Except age and experience makes me think maybe I wasn’t.

I wonder if my great-grandfather could have been my Alfred…

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  1. Larry January 7, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I don’t think about my great grandparents. They are beyond my frame of reference as I never met them. You are lucky to have such memories.
    I hope that gut is on the money and you are headed in the right direction.

  2. Julia January 7, 2015 at 2:41 am

    Love this – thank you so much! In the last year I left a job I loved, a city full of friends and family, in order to follow a gut feeling – and it has worked. I really believe in intuition as much as cold reason, and think these sorts of reminders are incredibly necessary.

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