My Litmus Test for Tough Decisions
Elena Marinova is the president and co-founder of Musala Soft and a member of the AUBG Board of Trustees. This essay originally appeared in the Bulgarian edition of FORBES where she was named one of the 20 Most Powerful Women in Business in Bulgaria in the February 2020 issue.
I was in the role of taxi-mom, one of many every mother has to take – the friend-mom, ATM-mom, shopping-assistant mom, listener-mom, teacher-mom, chef-mom, doctor-mom, businesswoman-mom… Taxi-mom is among my most favorite because it offers the time for blitz philosophical conversations with my know-it-all teenager.
“I’m writing an essay for FORBES and I’m thinking of doing my interpretation on ‘What is a courageous act?’ – the essay topic for your philosophy class,” I said. “It will be a cool experiment and it will be curious when we read them in five years.”
“No!” he responded.
Looking into the future, I imagined the pleasure of reading these essays with my then grown-up boy. Reading about what we thought was brave today and even earlier, when I was his age and my classmates used to say that “when Elena says ‘no’ it’s a ‘no.’”
I smile and make a decision – one of many small decisions we make every day. It is these decisions that often lead to the big choices defining our lives, both personal and professional. There are battles that should be fought and there are wars in which you should surrender. My litmus test is whether I can face my child and be proud with these decisions.
In making decisions, what is important to me is that I don’t regret the choice in five years. It is easy to choose when imagining that you will only live another day; it is easy to live as if your life is infinite and you will have countless opportunities to correct mistakes, selecting different paths. It is hard to balance between a moment and eternity, but that’s where we are every day.