Advice from A Lexis

Find clarity through your chosen sacrifice


Dear Lexis,

I’ve been offered the opportunity to pursue some new projects but I don’t feel like I have the time for all of them. They all seem equally valuable though, and I don’t know how to choose which path to follow. I don’t know which one I want to pursue the most. Do you have any advice that can help me pick the best path?


          ~ Divided

Dear Divided,

I understand your dilemma, it’s one that I’ve struggled with throughout my life. Sometimes, when you feel like you have equal talent or passion for something, it can be hard to figure out which direction you should travel.

I have a certain talent for writing, but my interests are divided between nonfiction and fiction (self-help and fantasy). Both could potentially help me reach a level of recognition or success, but choosing one path seems to be somewhat impossible, so I find myself trying to pursue both. And while it’s okay for me to choose this option, it does have its downfalls, as will any decision you make.

Knowing what you want from life, what you enjoy, is a wonderful thing. Whenever you’re feeling lost or aimless, focusing on your passions can help you find a new sense of purpose. However, knowing where you interests lie is only the first step in the process, the second step is to consider what such pursuit can cost you; what you have to sacrifice.

Any path we choose, including a path of indecision, comes with consequences. My writing, for example, suffers on both sides because I do not have a consistent focus in either direction. Flipping from one mindset to another innately wastes time, so I am less productive. If I chose to pursue just nonfiction, my rate of work, and consistency, would improve but I would lose out on the opportunity to explore my fiction worlds. If I chose to pursue fiction, I lose out on writing this column and potentially lose out on sharing what I have learned through years of study. Success is far more likely with a focused path as well, so by not choosing just one direction, I open myself up to years of further potential struggle.

Clearly, each path offers its own pros and cons, but by taking the time to look through the options, I now have the power to choose which sacrifice I’m willing to make.

So, while you may be inspired by the potential options available to you now, you may find that it’s the potential losses that really help you figure out which opportunity matches your desired results the best. Traveling toward a goal is always the better option, but recognizing the potential problem points before hand could save you hours of valuable time later on.

Take some deep breaths, close your eyes, and play out each of the potential scenarios in your head. Consider where each path may lead and what requirements they hold. Furthering your education, for example, means sacrificing money and time, whereas putting your nose to the proverbial grindstone to get a promotion potentially means sacrificing the growth and opportunity that school could provide.

No one can choose the path for you; you have to be the decision maker. I know that it can be hard and frustrating, but the sooner you put in the work, the sooner you will find the clarity that you’re looking for. It’s a powerful, enriching experience to feel that sense of certainty, to know that you chose the right path for you; and while it may aggravate you at times when things don’t go your way, the knowledge that this is the path you chose, and the sacrifice you chose, can keep you moving even when nothing seems to be going right.

Keep up the good work and I wish you luck.

          ~ Lexis

Lexis is Alexis Rae Baker, who writes from her home in Olympia.  What would you like to ask her to comment about?  Write to her at 


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