I’m sure we’ve all heard that quote “when life closes a door, it opens a window”. It’s such an old and often quoted (and misquoted) phrase that I cannot even find the original author of this bit of wisdom.
It’s not entirely true of course, there are innumerable instances where closing a door doesn’t open a window of any sort, it just leads you through a better door.
The premise however is more that when one thing ends, that ending also serves as a new beginning.
We can simplify this even further, and take every decision or occurrence down to a simple binary equation, there are actually only ever two answers, a zero or a one, a true or a false, a yes or a no.
Humans don’t really like absolutes, we like the grey areas, wriggle room, the opportunity to change our minds and try something else. But that is all an illusion. It still resolves back to a two-choice system.
I love Star Wars, especially The Empire Strikes Back.
One of my favourite favourite quote comes from the scene where Luke Skywalker’s ship is stuck in a swamp and the old Jedi Master Yoda, tells him the force will allow him to free the ship.
Luke doesn’t believe but says he will try.
“do or do not, there is no try…” replies Yoda
Luke tries to free his ship but ultimately fails.
Defeated, he tells his master he asks for the impossible.
The master simple performs the feat he just failed at and tells Luke he failed because he didn’t believe he could succeed.
Believing in yourself is a big lesson.
But Yoda’s words of “do or do not” points to an even simpler truth that we all sometimes need to learn.
We can try and complicate life by adding windows and doors and speeches and beliefs, and we can ourselves the illusion of more choices.
But ultimately it still comes down to a two-choice system, to act or not to act.
If you choose to act, you again have those two-choices within that action, and so it goes on.
In our businesses, we tend to overcomplicate things and over burden our minds, often making things seem like bigger decisions than they really are.
Instead, look at it from a decision tree point of view, yes or no, leads to the next yes or no, and the next and the next.
Just make a decision, and stick with it.