Most of us struggle with making difficult decisions.

In fact, I once read about a professor who spent months agonizing over two life paths – to stay at his current university or to take a job at a different university.

The irony of the situation?

He was a professor of decision sciences!

So if an expert struggles with major life decisions, what hope do the rest of us have?

Fortunately, one of my favorite authors – James Hollis – has a simple tip for making difficult decisions.

Hollis, a professor of psychology and author of books such as “What Matters Most” and “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life“, suggests we use the following to guide our major life decisions:

“At any major juncture in life, Hollis argues, we should ask: “Does this path, this choice, make me larger or smaller?” […] Every choice, writes Hollis, demonstrating again his splendid refusal to be upbeat for the sake of it, represents a kind of death. So “when we get to junctures like that, we had better choose the dying that enlarges rather than the one that keeps us stuck”.”

Choose the dying that enlarges.

I’m reminded of an interview that I once read with philosopher and theologian Huston Smith.

In mid-career, Dr. Smith left the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was professor of philosophy and took a position in the theology department at Syracuse University.

When the interviewer asked him why he made that decision, he replied: “I already knew what that other life was life. I wanted to see what this new life was about”.

Choose the dying that enlarges.

For many of us, we want safety and stability.

But that often leads to going through the motions, to stagnation, to smallness.

Choosing the dying that enlarges takes courage.

Lots of courage.

But the dying that enlarges also leads to growth, leads to new adventures, leads to renewed energy and spirit.

So the next time you have to make a major life decision, why not choose the dying that enlarges?

As James Hollis reminds us all choices require us to give something up.

Which is why they all involve a kind of death.

But only the dying that enlarges offers us so much more…

**Apply For Your Discovery Session Now**

If you’d like my help with a major life decision”, I’d like to invite your to apply for a complimentary discovery session

Just click the button below, fill out the application, and we’ll schedule a time to talk. 

Ed Herzog

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