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I recently went through 20,000 Days and Counting. In chapter 9, the author makes a fascinating observation. He points out how life can seem really complicated at times. The variety of options and choices can seem infinite. There are hundreds of thousands of books written each year. Which ones should we read? If you go to a home improvement store to buy paint for the kitchen, there are thousands of colors from which to choose. Think of all the songs written each year. Yet, each of these examples can be broken down to pretty simple elements. The books were written, with all those different stories and topics, with an alphabet of 26 characters. And that’s just in English! The thousand paint colors were made from three primary colors. All the songs written were crafted by arranging just seven notes.

Your life, which can seem so complicated at times, can be sorted out into simpler terms too. When it comes down to it you really only have two choices. All day long, everyday of the year, to all the decisions you make, to all the answers you need to or are forced to give, there are only two choices : yes or no. It is as simple as that, but it not as easy as that. They get disguised as something hairier, but it is fifty-fifty. You make these yes-or-no decisions one after the other. However, it is not always easy to say yes instead of saying no, or no instead of yes.

Here are two simple clarifying questions to making the right choice:

  1. What is important now?
  2. What’s next?

If you can determine what is the most important thing for you right now and what you are supposed to do next, you face a choice: will you say yes or no to it? Major changes in your life and circumstances are closer than you might think. What are you willing to take a chance and say yes to? What are you willing to face by saying no?

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