They say life isn’t about the things that happen to you, but about the decisions you make. There’s a ton of coverage about the best decisions people have made, but not nearly enough conversation about the tough decisions. We asked folks we admire to tell us about the most difficult decision they’ve ever had to make and have shared some of those responses below.

Dawn Croft | Martial Artist & Japanese Translator

The question of whether I would continue running the dojo after my Sensei’s passing was more difficult than anything I’ve had to wrestle with before or since. It was mid-2018, and I had been there ten years. The dojo and its members were lodged deep in my heart, and I certainly felt a profound obligation to continue the legacy of my teacher’s life’s work–but I knew that honor, duty, and even love would not be enough to sustain me in the end. The school would, sooner or later, become an albatross and a burden–someone else’s dream–if I didn’t feel called to do from a purely authentic space and for my own reasons. Complicating things was the fact that I had been a traveler my whole life, picking up everything and moving on over half a dozen times by age 35–and I loved the freedom of it. But a dojo is a community, a family, a physical structure, a church. You don’t just shoulder it and take it with you on the road. Read more>>

Joanna Garcia | Professional Makeup Artist & Entrepreneur

Change can be uncomfortable, it is not easy. The most difficult decision I’ve had to make to pursue my dream and passion as a professional makeup artist was to leave my full time career as a Registered Medical Assistant. Working in the medical field for 7 years was something I truly enjoyed. My experience took place in a couple of Urgent Cares, Family Medicine, and my absolute favorite was Cardiology. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to further my education and become a Nurse Practitioner with a speciality in Cardiology, something that I definitely still would like to pursue. However, interestingly, prior to me starting my career in the medical field, I had actually looked into several cosmetology schools in my area. I’ve always had a passion for makeup and the artistry behind it, so for several years I went back and forth with applying at a Sephora store. Finally, in October of 2016, I decided to apply, got hired, and herein my journey started. Read more>>

Saria Faiz | Founder of the “Glory Story” Event Agency

The most difficult decision in my life – to leave everything in my home country (Russia): included friends, senior parents, and my growing event agency, and plunge headlong into the abyss of new life associated with moving to the USA. Read more>>

Monica “Mono” Campbell | Oil Painter and Framer

The most difficult decision I ever had to make was deciding that I could not be in my marriage of 29 years any longer. That decision made a painful ripple effect throughout my family, friends and business. It took about 5 years of thinking about it and then in spring of 2020 I filed for divorce. You don’t have much control after you’re in motion and no going back. I thought I would still be running my side of the business and I thought I could fight for my house and stay in my art studio. It did not work that way. My husband chef and father of our 2 grown sons bought me out and I was on my way. We worked for 20 years building/owning a restaurant and bar in Montana. Many years of struggling and hard work in the hospitality business. During all this I painted at night and days off. Now is the time at 51 to pursue my painting career. I supported and poured my heart into my husband’s career and now I have to take care of my passion. Read more>>