Our lives are defined by the choices we make. This message was made clear to me sometime ago, as part of a Sunday morning message from the pastor of my church. The idea behind the sermon, and the crux of this blog post is this; never let your choices put you in places of danger, because life itself offers enough danger without us having to put ourselves in precarious situations.
There is so much in life we can’t control, such as encounters with hateful people, traffic tickets, or even something as simple as getting rained on. We can’t control when our neighbor has finally had enough, and decides to unload 18 rounds into the bodies of people in her workplace. We can’t control when the person we sit next to on the airplane sneezes too close to us, offering us a virus when all we wanted was to get to Minnesota safely. We can’t control these things, but what we can control, and should, is our decision making.
There are two types of decisions you make each day, those with substantial consequences, and those without. Where to go to lunch? This is a choice where the consequences, are probably at worst, a stomachache and money wasted. Where to go to college? This would fall under the substantial consequence realm. Where to work, what church to attend, whom to marry, these choices all come with real consequences, good or bad, making choices like these will have a significant change in the way you live your life. This post is about these high level choices we make.
I see so many people that are deftly understanding of others, yet when it comes to making choices for themselves they take a left when so obviously the better choice is to go right. Complicating this phenomenon is the fact that more times than not, the better choice is the harder one to make. Human nature kicks in. We default to choosing easy, when true rewards await us only if we went with hard.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, to sincerely believe a greater power is monitoring your decision-making, and to start making choices under such an assumption is unquestionably beneficial to making better choices for your wellbeing, and ultimately living a happy life.
In the pursuit of happiness is a very powerful statement, not just because of its age, and transcendence of time, but because of what it ultimately sums up by the greatest philosophers of our time. It is a single sentence that defines the lives of nearly all that inhabit this earth. By being deliberate, and utilizing fore thinking about the big choices we are about to make, our chances for obtaining true peace, and happiness on this earth are greatly enhanced.
On a personal note, my impulses often lead me down crazy paths, exciting at first, but often terrifying as the paths turn into long winding trails of consequences. This post aims to illustrate that when we think about the potentially hazardous results BEFORE a choice is made, we are apt to make better decisions when the time comes to firmly make a serious life choice. You might laugh, and think this is obvious, but easier said than done, just look at so many people’s poor choices over the last year alone. Hopefully this post serves as a healthy reminder for us all, that being patient, and having foresight will take us to fruitful places, full of the things we truly seek, rather than the drifting dreams we so often chase.