Advice about listening to yoruself

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me he was struggling, really struggling with a big career decision. Here's what I told him, and what I believe and have applied to my own decisions:

"Try to pay very close attention to what you yourself want to do. It is easy to get confused by expectations put on you by others or by yourself based on what you think others - parents, friends, colleagues and so on, would expect you to do or what the conventional wisdom says is the right thing to do. All that is confusing.

You need to try hard to filter that out and find out what you - YOU - really want to do, what your heart tells you. It's hard to do but I have found it to be a very good exercise. Once you force yourself to be aware of those other influences it becomes possible to try to look beyond them.

Second - if you are in a dilemma where two major choices are both incredibly appealing, just in different ways, and one moment you think one is the right thing and the next moment the other is the right thing - then it's possible and likely that either choice would be the right thing and you can't make a wrong decision based on all the information you have now.

Thats not to say that a year from now you discover information that answers the question, but right now, maybe both choices are equally good."