When I have a big decision to make, I ask myself: If someone wrote my biography one day, which option would I want to see in it?
Sometimes, the answer isn’t obvious. The world is complex and the future is uncertain, so I can’t really know how things will play out. But other times, it is. What makes these situations hard is not their complexity. It is my own doubts that get in the way.
My trip to China is a good example. When I was considering it, I was very anxious. “Is this the right thing to do? What about all this time I’m going to ‘waste’ not working? Will I ever catch up with the world?” And so on. When I asked myself the biography question, though, things became clear as day. I’d love that chapter of my life to end with: “And then he flew to China to study kung fu.” That would be so cool! I’d want to keep reading.
This doesn’t mean you must go to China or do some other rash thing to have a biography you’ll be proud of. Of course no. It’s up to you to decide what makes an interesting read: a loving family, audacious pursuits, or peaceful farming in the countryside. What’s not up to you is whether the book will be written or not. It will be, and it is, even this very second. So make it worth reading.