The moment you decide to go for a walk, to get up and make popcorn, or to make music – the moment you make even the most minor decisions, your life is different. You’ve changed it.
With every decision you make, you take an active part in shaping your reality.
Think Back on Your Life and Think About the Most Important Decisions You’ve Made
- What if you’d decided to turn left even though you turned right?
- What if you’d bought a different car?
- What if you’d said yes or no to that job offer?
We Can’t Change the Past, but We Can Use It as a Mirror for Our Future
When we look back on our lives, we can see where our paths diverged and how they might’ve been different. We’re responsible for every single decision we make and take action, but we’re not responsible for how others react to them.
The truth is that no one way works for everyone, and there’s no way to predict how things will turn out in the long run.
With this realization comes freedom – freedom from regret, freedom from fear of what might happen next, freedom from wondering what might’ve been different if…
A Decision Can Break You or Build You Up
You may not realize it, but the choices you make every day can have a massive impact on your life. They can change the course of your entire life.
One of the best examples is when someone decides to quit smoking. A single decision – to quit something that may have been part of their routine for years – can be enough to change their entire outlook on life and how they view themselves. It can also empower them like they’ve regained control of their lives.
But it’s not just about quitting smoking! Decision-making, like where we go on vacation or what clothes we wear, are just as important because they show who we’re and what we value.
Each Conscious Choice We Make, With Intention and Mindfulness, We Ensure That Our Values Align With Who We Want to Be as a Person
Let’s say you get up in the morning and decide to wear pants instead of shorts. Then you go for a jog and take a different route than usual. On your way home from work, you stop at the supermarket because you realize you’re out of milk – and then, while waiting in line at the counter, you meet an old high school friend whose life hasn’t turned out as well as yours.
This encounter could change your attitude toward your own life and give you strength for the following stages of your life. The same goes for the opposite situation: you might be having a difficult time and meet a friend doing better than you, which might take away your confidence or inspire you. It all depends on how you want to deal with your feelings and attitude towards life.
A Career Opportunity Can Change the Course of Your Social Life
Imagine sitting in a bar minding your business when a friend approaches you and asks if you’d like to go hiking with him. You’ve got a busy week ahead – lots of work and maybe even a few freelance projects – but the weather is nice, so why not?
You agree and head out after work without knowing that such a simple choice could change the rest of your life. While hiking, your friend tells you he got a great job offer that’s a perfect fit for his skills, but he’s not sure if he should take it. He asks you what you think.
As soon as they ask you that, your heart sinks. The reason is simple: you know that this job would require you to move away from all your friends. It would also mean you’d have to give up everything that makes your city so livable (the food, the music scene, etc.). But it would also mean that you could rid yourself of a mountain of student debt and afford to pay rent without having to get by every month like so many other people in your situation.
Whatever your choice is, moving from where you live now will change your relationships, even if you take your family with you. Your partner will have to adjust, your kids will go to a new school – these factors can affect everyone’s lives and our relationships.
A Decision Can Change How You Feel About Yourself and Others
Making decisions every day affects our interactions with the world around us. Sometimes the effect is immediate: For example, if you’ve just had an argument with your family, you might avoid talking to them for a few days until things calm down. Sometimes it takes longer: for example, if you just got a new job, it may take months or years for the relationship between your family and the new job to settle down.
But what happens when we don’t notice how our decisions affect other people? Or even worse, when we don’t notice how they affect ourselves?
It happens more often than you might think! We all make mistakes and make bad decisions sometimes; it’s part of being human. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences – not only in terms of other people’s reactions but also in how you perceive yourself and your relationship with others.
You Can Also Destroy Your Whole Life With One Wrong Decision
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “One wrong decision can ruin your life.” That’s true – one wrong decision can cause you to lose everything. But what happens when you make a bad decision that isn’t completely irreversible? There are many things we do every day that could be called mistakes or missteps, but they’re not so bad that we can’t recover from them.
Let’s say you decide to do drugs for the first time. Maybe it’s not even that someone pushed you to do it; maybe it was just curiosity that got the better of you. You know your loved ones would be disappointed if they found out, so maybe you keep it a secret from them. But even though it’s not the end of the world, it can still impact your life. For example, you could become an addict or get arrested, which wouldn’t only affect your family and your career and mental health.
One crucial decision could completely change your life, and it could be one of the smallest decisions you’ve ever had to make, like trying drugs that night.
Every Decision We Make Has an Impact
A small or big decision – either way, we should do our best to make better decisions in our everyday life. But we also must remember that sometimes, even when we do our best and make better decisions, we still make a bad choice. This can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t give up on your goals just because one thing didn’t work out.
Sometimes We Face Tough Choices, and Not All of Them Are Destined to Be a Success
Think about the last time you made the right decision: maybe it was choosing a new restaurant for dinner or picking a movie on Netflix. It probably felt great at first – you were like, “Yes! I made a good decision!” But then something happened: Maybe the food wasn’t as good as you thought it would be; maybe the movie wasn’t what you expected; maybe your friend got sick halfway through the meal and had to leave early.
Even though these things happen all the time (and even though they’re sometimes beyond our control), that doesn’t mean that every decision we make turns out badly or goes off the rails.
It’s essential to remember this when you make decisions: every small decision has an impact on your life, but those impacts aren’t always irreversible. Most of the time, you’ll get a chance to make a better decision next time.
Some Decisions Can Affect the Rest of Your Life
When you make a tough decision in your life, you should be as informed as possible. While it’s true that sometimes we have to make a small decision without knowing all the facts, do your best to find out everything you can about the hard decisions you’re facing. If there’s something new for you to learn, just learn it! Don’t just sit back and wait for someone to tell you how things work. If you can even get a good idea of what something might mean before someone tells you what it means.
Informed decisions help you avoid mistakes and help you go for the best option – and make sure your decisions are yours.
Being supported by those who wish us success is not a bad thing. Still, in the end, you’ll be the decision maker who has to live as a successful person because you made a positive change in your life, or you’ll be the one with the regret of making the wrong choice because you didn’t listen to your inner voice.
One Decision: The First Step to a Better Life – Mike Bayer