A column by Olympian and national rower Aisyah Gala
Lately, I had to make a few very important decisions in my life. I feel that the older we get, the harder it is to make a decision. Every decision seems to be life-changing. It is either that, or we have lost the ability to pick a side and move on with our lives.
I don’t necessarily make the right decisions or the best ones. I used to be the most fickle-minded person. I’d make a decision and then change it halfway. After realising that this might make others unhappy – and it often brings me to nowhere – I worked on becoming that person who makes a decision and bloody stick to it.
But making this change isn’t as easy as I thought it was. So, I found it absolutely hard to make up my mind and then I found myself searching on Google on “How to make a hard decision?”
One thing I’ve realised from this decision-making conundrum that I had to experience recently is that making a decision is way better than sitting over one and not making any choices. At least when you make a decision, you’re moving.
By spending hours or even days pondering over which decision to make, nothing is being done and you remain in the same spot. (Even not making a decision is a decision in itself. As long as you have committed that you won’t be making a decision and is able to live with that for the rest of your life, then go ahead.
Time waits for no man (or woman), guys. We have got to keep moving. We have to decide and commit. I’ve also learnt that I don’t have to be alone in this. People are always willing to help. It is a matter of whether we are brave enough to reach out or not. However, the problem that might arise from this is having too many people telling you a thousand different things.
At the end of the day, I’d say: go with what you feel is right. Go with what YOU want and not what you think others might want you to choose. One of the best advice I’ve received after months of pondering is from this article: “Choose growth each time”. And once you’ve made a decision, stick to it and take full responsibility for it.
I did spend at least two months pondering over this particular dilemma. Two whole months of doing nothing but thinking. I know thinking is highly encouraged before you blindly jump into something new, but I could have done so much in those two months than just spend all that time thinking about which path to take!
But let me tell you this; the moment I made the decision, I felt so relieved! It felt like a huge rock was lifted off my shoulders. It made me wonder why it took me so long to come to a conclusion.
Like I mentioned before, life is actually pretty simple. We just tend to make things a bit more complicated, very often by thinking too much. Overthinking, is yet another story. Now that it has been almost six months or so since I made that decision and I am glad I did it.
Training in Philadelphia after the Olympic Games was the tough decision that I had to make because I was considering coming back to Sydney where everything was familiar or exploring a new training environment. I was torn between choosing comfort or doing something crazy like starting a new life in a city I didn’t know anyone at all. I am glad I chose the latter because only by stepping out of my comfort zone did life happen.
Choose growth each time. At the end of the day, whatever decision we make, things will eventually be okay, somehow. That is the beauty of how life works. x