Even people who seem to be living an adapted, conventional, settled way of life, harbor desires and dreams that they believe they cannot show to others. From time to time they long to say farewell to their normal life and then follow their hidden wishes. But, in most cases, they choose the path habitually taken.
How was it that we chose to live how we are presently living? Did we make an honest, clear decision to fall in love with our partner, or to go it alone? Did we take chances on love and fortune and follow our hearts’ desires; or did we choose to take the default, socially favored direction?
As we get older, and hopefully wiser, we understand that our decisions and choices sometimes become more important and significant than they seemed, at first glance. We realize that it is essential that we choose the right option.
There might be a minor choice to make. In the supermarket of life, there will be one that is easy to take. It’s “on sale”, and displayed, right in front of you. On the other hand, you might want something more difficult to acquire, something that will bring more long-term benefits. The second choice requires putting forth more effort. There may be a search involved. You may have to reach higher to get it.
Maybe a choice was made in haste because time seemed to be growing short. Maybe the choice was made out of surface desire for instant gratification. You may later justify the choice by saying it was fate, or that other people had undue influence over our decision-making. Maybe the choice was made out of fear of how we might be perceived of by family and society.
No matter how much others believe we are strong and decisive, all of us experience difficulty and disharmony in trying to make intelligent, wise choices. Some of us feel we deserve some sort of punishment for somthing we’ve done or feel responsibility towards. Maybe we notice a conflict between our learned values and belief systems and those that we have realized are better than our former ways of thinking.
Will we choose to think and live the way we always have? Or, will we choose to think and live with guidance and direction learned through practical, real-life experience and wisdom?
Regarding either minor or major choices, we feel some sort of inner imbalance. Do we make the tried and true approach; or do we objectively examine our opinions and beliefs regarding the choices in question? Maybe the real-world amount of potential and benefit is out of harmony with your life. Maybe we realize that our values and visions of the future are out of sync with what will bring us more true happiness and fulfillment.
We may discover that one choice seems stronger than the others. One may seem to be more emotionally involving. We might believe that taking a particular choice could lead to disappointments in life. We feel the tug of insecurity when we must make a choice.
When it comes to decision making, some analysis is helpful. However, there is also the risk of paralysis by analysis. Will overanalyzing a situation eventually cause us to make a decision by inaction? In this case, the choice between taking a chance or living by default will seem to be made automatically. We know better, though. Dithering and making the default choices are voluntary.
When we find ourselves at moral crossroads where we must choose between ambiguous outcomes, we must think of what will be better for everyone involved. This is the time to ponder whether or not our old beliefs are better than expanded, deeper considerations. Do we take things mainly on face value; or do we sincerely examine our opinions, motives, and options?
We might find that our choices are not between overt good and evil, but can be helpful or destructive depending upon their contexts. On the surface, some choices seem to be as simple as taking one or the other forks in the road. At other times, we must choose from more complicated choices and considerations.
When our strongest opinions, beliefs, and ideals will be tested, we will find ourselves choosing between stagnation or growth.
While we may believe that our choices are made by a rational, reasoning approach, they aren’t. Actually, most of us choose from options based on emotions and opinions. Knowing this fact, it’s interesting to find out how our concepts influence our choices.
As long as we’re breathing and thinking, there will be no escaping the need to make choices. The best choices are made with a balance between brash impulsiveness and dithering indecisiveness. Our choices are ultimately our own.