When people make a decision about something, the majority tend to think of that conclusion as rigid and uncompromising. I use to think like this before I hit the road, that once I made up my mind about something, be it a course of action, a purchase decision, a political stance, what I thought of someone or some place, that was it. Over and done with, on to the next dilemma.
It’s simpler to live that way, more comfortable. Once you make the decision there’s no more critical thinking required. And think also about the stigma associated with changing your mind, society might say that you’re “wishy-washy”, that you lack conviction.
I don’t see thinking like this as lacking conviction, I see it as staying flexible to accommodate for course correction as a situation changes or becomes more clear. The world is always changing, we’re always changing, so why should our decisions be so set in stone?
It can be very liberating, to allow yourself to change your mind. For me, decision making actually became easier knowing that I could always make changes later as new information came in. For instance, during those murky times when you don’t know all the answers or can’t see the whole picture until you get started – like preparing to go full-timing. Before I would fail to make decisions over the fear that I would make the wrong choice. Now I know that life isn’t all or nothing, and if I make a wrong choice it’s not the end of the world. There are always other choices coming, and having made a mistake now just makes me a little wiser when the next one comes along.
Fluid decision making also makes your life easier when something goes wrong (or right!) that you have no control over, because you know your actions can be shaped to accommodate. Flexibility is a key skill for full-time RVing, when weather, a blowout, a call from a friend, a full campground, an unexpected discovery, or a slew of other things could call for a change in plans.
And even if you’re only curious in the lifestyle. For instance, occasionally I get e-mails from people who follow my blog and are interesting in full-timing, but say they’ll never be able to go, and that makes me wince. Never is an awfully long time. A lot could change, but if you’ve already decided it will never happen then it becomes sort of a self-fulfilling prophesy. If the opportunity comes around, you might not see it because you believe it’s impossible.
I like to think that nothing’s impossible.
By all means, don’t let your mind be so open than you can be swayed by anything, but don’t let it be so closed that you fail to see the possibilities around you.
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Two announcements today:
First, my parents have screaming fast WiFi and I’ve managed to upload a lot of videos in the past couple days! There are four shiny new playlists to view under the Videos tab, going from my arrival at Badlands National Park in April of 2013 to the end of my season volunteering in Florida in April of 2014, enjoy. I hope to be all caught up on videos by the time I leave here at the beginning of May. (Edit 9/13/17: Old video clips and playlists have been removed in favor of complete, edited videos! Enjoy.)
Second, The Kindle edition of ‘Solo Full-time RVing On A Budget‘ is now live! Wow, formatting a book for Kindle is hard work, but I’ve done my absolute best to make it look as good as it can on as many devices as possible.
Have a good weekend everyone, spring finally seems to have arrived to most of the country, the high here in Wisconsin Rapids today is a startling 74, I hardly know what to do with myself!