The apparently big decisions in my life have really been the culmination of a series of apparently small choices. By the time the "big" decision came, it was, to me at least, an inevitability. In my case, this included twice moving to live in a new country; the second time to Canada, where I knew no-one. Many friends were impressed with the apparent daring. I knew it simply was the obvious thing to do - a culmination.
Perhaps it's temperamental but I have great faith in small choices and the powerful and reliable momentum they build. In my experience, the art of making these choices lies in being (or getting) in touch with that which I am passionate about - and, when necessary, listening closely to my own heart and watching closely my authentic actions, rather than the convenient, comfortable or socially-conforming ones.
I am continually thankful to live in a society and have the opportunities to make a wide range of choices, knowing painfully that so many others don't. The least I can do is exercise my freedom of choice meaningfully. In my case - as with most people, I believe - this involves consideration of others near and far. I don't know how I rank on the altruism scale but I do know that when I do something that might make that scale, it springs from genuine feeling and not duty or to look good in the eyes of others. This kind of choice is personal so does not seek approval. In fact, it is distorted by approval-seeking. Mostly though, I believe that my choices, seen through the eyes of others, are small and sometimes even trivial; and rightly so. If my choices ever make the news, it would be an apparent big one which was really the culmination of all those "trivial" ones.
Seek out alternatives. Explore. Face facts, comfortable or not. As long as the choice is real, it brings real change and, with that comes a new perspective. This brings other possibilities into view and the prospect of further little choices. And on it goes . . .
This can be a good, old-fashioned (?) way to move out of stuckness: take the first step and see how it looks from the new vantage point. Because everything is connected to everything else, not only is my outlook then changed but so is everything else. Our pets, more adept at reading fine changes in position, atmosphere and attitude, know that when I look up from my chair, not only has my position changed somewhat but so has everything else - at least in their world. And when they, in turn, look up at me, I change: maybe I will go outside with the dog or pick up the cat.
Of course, there are other ways of viewing change. Sometimes events happen so quickly that the small decisions are part of a blur of action: not much time to consider choices in the midst of a tsunami, and yet clearly choices were made. The more space, the more opportunity to become aware of choices. Hence, one of my favourite bits of advice, received many years ago: don't make a decision until you have to; the point being that other factors that might influence your choice come into the picture right to the "last minute"
Being an observer as well as an acter (sic) I suspect that my choice of this perspective is at least partially based on temperament. I confess to a love of process. However, I am sure there are many "out there" who are similarly inclined; and even some who are not, that might benefit from trying something a little different from the Nike approach ("Just do it"). This is not the answer to the problems of the world but one possible way through to greater power, vision and effectiveness.
Footnote: I see this blog as an opportunity to present choices, alternative information and perspectives that may expand your scope. Because the apparently trivial might be more of a catalyst than the grand vision or passionate argument, they are part of the mix here. Building a bird feeder, mowing a lawn with a bicycle, finding a source of local food, getting to know Avril Lavigne or about fair-trade shoes in South Africa or considering the possibility that fewer traffic lights could actually help traffic flow . . . something like this could provide the shift in perspective that will lead to big changes.