As we all face choices throughout our days, and must live in the circumstances as a result of our choices, how do we know if we are making the right choices?
Making the right choice requires knowledge and wisdom combined with patience. We must think the situation through, anticipate the outcome, and not rush into it. Also, consult others for a second opinion if it’s a big decision. This article will look at several factors for making the right choice and getting through it.
No matter what we do, we will need to make choices here and there each day. Some are big choices, and some are small. We generally make the small choices mindlessly, however, when it comes to the big, life-altering, choices, we must put in some effort.
We can only do our best in these scenarios, as we can’t see the future. There are multitudes of people right now living in poor circumstances because they made the wrong choice. Does this mean that they will stay in that circumstance for life? Probably not for most.
Whatever the situation, we must make the best of whatever circumstance we are in while we work to make a more ideal environment for ourselves.
We can think of big choices as being anything that will affect our life for some time to come. It might have an effect on our finances, our relationships, our living environment, our careers, or even our physical and mental health.
This article will examine some common issues surrounding making good choices, as well as, what to do when we make the wrong choices. How we cope with the outcome will come down to the individual also.
Making good choices starts with a good understanding about choices
I don’t know every situation we will all face, but I have made my share of good choices and poor choices. I have spent considerable time living in negative consequences from poor choices, as well as, I have benefited from many good choices.
I have pondered these questions many times for myself as I don’t want to waste anymore of my life living in negative circumstances. There is only so much we can ask and only so long we can wait before we must choose a direction in life.
So, here are seven questions with my best answer to think about:
- What is the meaning of right choice?
- What is the power of choice?
- What choices do we already make daily?
- How do I know if I’m making the right choice?
- How long should I wait before making a new choice?
- What if I made the wrong choice?
- How do I not make matters worse?
1. What is the meaning of right choice?
To understand what it means to make a right choice, it depends on the situation and the individual. Sometimes, making a right choice is what will result in obvious benefit and good circumstance. However, sometimes, the right choice comes down to the choice with the least negative consequences.
Sometimes, we are just handed some raw deals in life and we must make the best of it. When in these situations, all we can do is be patient and continue making the best choices we can from a moment to moment basis until we are in the clear and in better standing.
The right choice will be the one where nobody is affected poorly. The right choice might not be the popular choice, will probably require self-discipline and patience, and likely won’t contribute to self-satisfaction right away.
Most choices that satisfy self and emotions often are accompanied by difficult circumstances. For example: it feels good to finance a new car; the long-lasting payments don’t feel so great and are the negative consequence to the choice of not saving cash for the car and paying it off completely.
Sometimes, the right choice is so obvious, and in those times, we must jump on them and stick to it. Other times, the right choice is a best guess, as we can’t always anticipate the outcome. We must be willing to deal with the result we get.
The right choice is the one where we will be able to sleep at night without the overwhelming feeling of uneasiness. When we make a poor choice, wrong someone, break a law, or cheat on something, we can be left to deal with our conscience, and we will generally feel uneasy until we come clean or rectify the choice.
2. What is the power of choice?
In this life, we have been granted free-will. This is the ability to make our own choices and do what we want. Of course, there are some limitations here. Children can only make so many choices of their own before adulthood, society has rules and laws, and some impoverished countries limit people in many ways.
However, regardless of our situations, we still will have freedom to make various decisions. Of course, we must live with the results from our choices. If someone else makes a choice around us, sometimes we must live with some consequences from their choice.
This is why it is vitally important to think through the scenario as best as possible and try to make choices that don’t affect innocent people. We are given the right to do as we please, but there are penalties to pay when we are wrong.
This is why some people don’t like to, or refuse, to make choices. They might’ve made so many poor choices in life that they can’t handle making one more bad choice.
It’s hard to live with a bad choice, and often, we are alone in it. In some cases, as the head of a household, we might make a choice that affects the whole household. This can be good or bad. When we are in a position to make such choices that affect others, we should spend extra time thinking through the situations and potential outcomes.
I have made choices in the past that have affected my family even many years later. I understand the full weight of making the wrong choices. Now, I am sure to consult my wife when we have a big choice to make as she is affected too, so she should be allowed to have a say in what is decided.
3. What choices do we already make daily?
For most of us, we have choices at work or school or home. How we act and behave in various situations are all choices too. The way we drive, how we respond to rude people, what we spend our money on, and whether we are optimistic or pessimistic are all choices we make.
Each of these come with a result, as there isn’t an action that we can do that doesn’t come with a result of some kind. For many of the things we do, it is done through habit. This means, our sub-conscious is doing the work and making the decisions while we are on auto-pilot thinking about something else.
When we cook, we automatically turn the handles in, so the kids don’t come along and grab at them; do we always know that we did that at the time? Not always. We get so used to doing things a certain way, and it becomes natural for us to do things in a way that yields a good result, or at least doesn’t yield a poor result.
We can do this with bigger decisions too. We can get in the habit of contemplating decisions and analyzing the scenarios in such a way that it becomes commonplace for us. This means, when we are faced with a new decision to make that will affect us and maybe others too, we can have a habitual strategy or procedure we follow to break the decision down until we understand whether it is a good outcome or not.
Ultimately, it is best to avoid auto-pilot or cruise-control because complacency is the breeding grounds for accidents and mistakes.
4. How do I know if I’m making the right choice?
As in the first point I made about the meaning of a right choice, we generally will have a sense that we are making the right choice. I said that the right choice is often the more difficult path. The path of least resistance often leads to undesirable consequences and circumstances. Not always, but often.
I prefer to sleep on decisions for the night, and if still not sure, I wait even longer. I believe if it is something that is going to leave me suffering a negative outcome for potentially years, then giving it a few nights or a week shouldn’t be a bad choice.
Sometimes we make choices based on emotions. We might watch something or talk to someone and in their situations, they did such and such and ended up with something that seems ideal. We must be careful to not get too caught up in their emotion about what they have, because sometimes we won’t yield the same result.
We must understand the exact choices and steps they made, and we must also realize that sometimes people play up situations better than they are as they don’t want to be embarrassed for making a poor choice.
In practically every situation where someone has financed a big purchase, not including mortgaging a home, they might play it up to sound so great. From someone who has had my share of stupid purchases through financing and had to suffer the long-term effects of monthly payments, I can assure you that there is nothing great about financing something.
Some will argue with me on this, and if you must finance something, just be sure to do your homework first and some basic math to find out what it really costs and how long it really takes.
5. How long should I wait before making a new choice?
What I mean here is, suppose we make a choice to start something, like a blog; how long do we wait before throwing in the towel?
The answer here will change between individual situations. Some will say we must give it three years, and others might say that it should be profitable at one year. The ideal amount of time will depend on our expectations and our efforts applied.
The best way to deal with this when we are in a situation where it seems like we made a poor choice is to look at what others in the same field went through. This might mean contacting them in some form and asking them how long it took for a breakthrough. It also might require doing research on the topic.
If we have an unreal expectation of where we should be from the start of our decision to now, then we are likely to give up altogether as it seems like a failure. However, by doing some research and asking around, we might find out that we are right on par and are almost there.
Depending on what the decision is, and I use business or blogging as an example because it takes considerable time to build, it could be multiple years before a profit is seen. It is often best to avoid these kinds of things if we don’t have the patience for it, because we just end up in frustration.
However, if we find that we did get into these situations, such as business, then getting a realistic expectation now through someone else might help to get a breath of fresh air. This might require asking a consultant or another business friend to look at our business to see if we are on track or not.
6. What if I made the wrong choice?
I have personally been here so many times; there’s only so much we can do. If we figure, through evidence and confirmation, that we made a poor choice, we must push through and make the best of it.
Most of my mistakes had to do with financial mistakes. For me, this meant that I needed to eventually buckle down and start working on debt repayment. There wasn’t any way out of it. I spent considerable time, and still am, dealing with the pressure of debt.
I know that from other’s stories, debt repayment is possible. As we now utilize a household budget, we are better equipped to manage our money. Does this mean that all is well? No. We still have bad days; we still have to go without some of life’s pleasures. However, we are on the road to recovery.
This is what must be done when a poor choice is made. Whatever outcome, or consequence, we must find the best way to cope with it and get through it.
If the choice we made was a poor choice that affected others, it is best if we can rectify the situation for them as quickly as possible. This might mean that we aren’t using our energy to correct our own situation first, but our focus should be on others first anyways. Society is starting to forget this.
The thing about bad choices is, they don’t often last. Generally, our pride gets hurt as we realize we made a poor decision, and then we are forced to live out a period of discomfort. But soon, as we go about each day making better choices, we start to see some light in our life again, and the previous becomes a distant memory.
7. How do I not make matters worse?
As with financial examples, when we build a considerable portfolio of debt in various ways, the best way to avoid making the situation worse is to stop adding to the debt. I know this seems obvious, but it isn’t always easy to deny our emotions and desires.
What we must understand is, when we deny ourselves certain instant gratifications now, later, we can rest easy and often in a far better situation. We don’t always see it this way in the early moments. I have made some bad decisions and now I understand the importance of not rushing into something.
Also, as I have had to endure many hardships caused by bad choices, I also understand that any poor choice made now will only prolong the negative effects of the original decision.
Some people will just need to make the bad choices and go through the hard times. Not everyone will learn from someone else’s mistakes. Some will. I write this article as an encouragement for those who have made poor choices that it will get better, as long as they don’t add to it and make it worse.
I also write to encourage others to use my consequences and sufferings as an indication to think things through and not rush into anything. Life can be enjoyable when we are aware of our actions and make choices that benefit us. When living in negative consequence, life becomes long and painful and we become frustrated and tired.
Eventually, we will look back one day and either regret our choices or be happy about our choices.
My poor choices
I won’t go into too much detail here, however, in my twenty years of marriage to my wife, I have done some stupid things.
I fought with alcoholism for almost a decade; I racked up tremendous debt; I quit good jobs; I lost friends; I moved away from good communities because the grass looked greener elsewhere; I almost broke up my marriage several times.
These are the main things I’ve done over the years that were damaging and left me living in consequence. Fortunately, for most of these things, we have recovered. As for the debt, well, eventually.
Student loans are about the dumbest things we ever got involved in. I know many out there feel our pain as they are trying to figure out how life works with a student loan. These things just don’t seem to go away. If you have never taken a student loan, don’t. Sell an arm or a leg or an organ to pay for school; don’t take the loan.
Also, financing vehicles is a bad choice. If you are looking at a sub-twenty-thousand-dollar vehicle and you have a good down payment, then maybe. However, don’t be like me; when I am finished paying for my fifty-thousand-dollar truck, it should have a book value of about five or six thousand (face-slap!).
As for all the other choices I used to make, they were based on habits. Now, I work hard each day to make new habits and good choices that will hopefully result in a good life one day for my family. It has been four years since we’ve financed anything, from the time of this writing, and I can say that it feels good to know that our debt is getting smaller.
If you are about to embark on a big choice, be sure to take your time. Salesmen and the like will always say this is the last one, or today is the last day, or, if not now, then never. It’s better to choose never then to be pressured into making a poor choice that you will be stuck living with.
I realize that many will simply need to live their life and make their choices, but I hope this article helps to shed some light on the results of making choices and what we can do to make good choices. As long as we focus on the end-result, we are already better equipped to make a choice.
We must understand that there will always be another this or that. Don’t worry about missing chances. If we take our time and think things through, we won’t be surprised by the outcome later.
If you have any helpful advice or tips regarding choices, please leave a helpful comment for others to enjoy, as I certainly haven’t covered everything.