Decision-making is fascinating in the modern age. This is a time where we have an abundance of choices, versus an abundance of restrictions. I’ve narrowed it down to three factors that must be considered in the decision-making process: curiosity, purpose, and impact.
It's crucial that all three are evaluated together - curiosity on its own will lead ourselves down a nebulous, circuitous path. Lack of purpose and impact will be unfulfilling if we want to leave our mark. Different people have different ways of expressing curiosity, purpose, and impact. For instance, some choose to travel around the world seeking purpose, or perhaps the essence of traveling has become their way of expressing purpose.
Curiosity is motivated by both individual growth and social maintenance. We strive to expand our minds and continually remark at how little we know. We pursue studies or careers or investments to broaden our experiences and acquire insights. Curiosity is a reminder of how little we are in comparison to the broader universe. Humility leads to growth.
Purpose, or to have purpose, is a very definitive state of being. There is a clear mission and passion. From studying "successful or well-known" figures, I realized they achieve prominence in three ways: 1) they are early champions of rocketship companies, 2) they are a pioneer in a specific product, or for the majority of people, 3) they are leaders of pre-existing movements. They all have a clear purpose in common. Being able to lead a "public" movement that one is passionate about is the meaning of purpose. By "public," I mean a type of movement that can reach critical mass. By “movement”, I mean an idea that is generalized to a broader industry or problem, and transcends an ephemeral trend. Examples of public movements are gender equality in tech, diversity in investing, financial literacy in Asia, etc.
Impact can be an action or a result, but it is also what empowers curiosity and purpose. One can have multiple purposes and lead many movements, but impact is the ability for the individual to contribute to the movement uniquely. "Why am I truly the right person to be leading this?" Answering this question requires self-awareness and knowing not just what we are good at, but also what we are willing to become good at. Excellence is a choice, and impact is a result when applied correctly with curiosity and a clear purpose.