Some career paths are so well-trod that they become fixed. They're fewer and farther between these days: doctor, Wall Street executive, Registered Nurse. Career paths like mine, on the other hand, (that of entrepreneur-artist-person) have constant decision-making at their core. What project to take next? Which new hire to choose? How to lead this meeting?
And it can be a struggle. Recently, in deciding whether to take a relatively minor teaching gig, I spent hours on the phone with friends trying to get clarity. I tried everything-- debating, making lists, asking for advice-- and everything just confused me more. Finally, intense frustration led to surrender. Once I exhaust the methods that don't work, I finally return to two tools that always work, if I'm willing to use them.
1. Move towards what frees you. There's this story from the time of the Buddha (via Melissa Foster) that if you were blind and searching for the ocean, you would know you arrived because it would taste like salt. Whether you tasted a teaspoon or a ton, whether you could see it or not-- it would taste like salt. Your right path and the path to enlightenment is just like that. It will always taste like freedom.
"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom."
2. Don't argue with evidence. The second part is that whatever feeling or taste exists at the beginning will continue throughout the entire thing. Ease, frustration, freedom, anxiety... they'll carry through from start to finish. Danielle Laporte quotes the Buddha as saying:
"As in the beginning, so in the middle, so in the end."
A tightening in your gut when you're called for a second interview; frustration when you try to express a point; a strong dislike of the decorating in the lobby. They're all clues. It doesn't meen that you take one look at the lobby and flee. It does mean you take note, combine that observation with other knowledge, and make a decision using something more powerful than raw intellect to choose your next move.
So maybe it's not so complicated, if you're willing to pay attention.