Foundational, Uncomfortable, and Innovating Decisions

Rethink your comfortable decisions. Sometimes we naturally decide things that are comfortable to us. We choose things we are familiar with. This can be counter to “innovating yourself.” Some decisions are fundamentally more important because they influence how you will operate. Think about which decision would be more innovative, provide you with new opportunities, or help you to develop as a person. For instance, I provide this example while traveling. When traveling alone, where you choose to stay is important. It can connect you to others and excitement or it can isolate you. While in Germany during the summer I took the train into Frankfurt and arrived at the tourist office without a place to stay. The city was quite booked due to a convention. I was offered two choices. I could stay near the city center at a hotel or I could stay on a small ship. After the initial “hotel” response I decided to innovate myself and stay on a new place, a ship.

Later, I went to San Francisco by myself. I had the same traditional option of a hotel but wasn’t faced with an innovative alternative initially (like a ship). I sought out an innovative choice. I had always had great experiences staying in hostels in Europe. They are perfect and cheap for solo travelers. So, I found one in San Francisco. It was still hard to make the decision for the innovative option but courage prevailed this time. I chose the innovative (and cheapest) option to stay in a hostel for $24 per night. I stayed in the hostel, made friends, and had a tremendous base of operation for walking the city. Staying here created the conditions for me to innovate myself because I couldn’t sit in the dorm room all day. I had to experience the city. Also, when you share a dorm room with people you have to talk to them, and they often turn out to be interesting people from all over the world. Choose innovative options for the most fundamental decisions that will influence how you operate. If no innovative options are immediately present, search for them.

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