Your future depends on the choices you make today!
Some decisions in life are obvious, it’s either the right choice or the wrong one. Like having that 10thbeer or eating that second piece of cake…those aren’t the decisions I’m talking about. I’m talking about the ones that aren’t clearly right or wrong. Perhaps one is not better than the other, but one could result in a better outcome. These choices are the hardest ones because they aren’t obvious. Sometimes you’ll never even know if you made the right choice, it’s impossible to know the outcome of a choice you didn’t make.
Both choices could lead you in the same place, but sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. The people you meet and the lessons you learn depend on your choices. In fact, the choices you make today will shape your ‘tomorrow’. Your life is a direct result of your choices. Luck isn’t real, choices determine everything!
I have been road-tripping USA alone for over a year. Every single day I am faced with these types of decisions. Some choices will change the direction of my whole trip, perhaps my whole life. When you have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want…it can be quite stressful.
People often think ‘being free’ means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. However, freedom is actually found in a scheduled life with clear boundaries and routines. The type of freedom I have at the moment is great, but it can be very difficult as well because nothing is certain, there is no schedule and every day is 100% my responsibility.
For example, today I am in Yosemite National Park in California. I have already spent 2 days here, but I haven’t even ‘scratched the surface’…this park is huge! I haven’t showered in 3 days, my hiking clothes stink, I’m low on petrol and I’m running out of food. I’m faced with the decision…do I leave the park so I can shower and do laundry or do I ‘rough it’ one more day to fit in another hike? I’ve done 2 hard hikes in a row…can my body handle another one tomorrow?
I agonised over this for about an hour. I kept consulting my phone and map to see which way I should drive. There really isn’t a right or wrong choice…but which one would enrich my journey more? What if one results in an amazing experience, and the other ‘falls flat’? This is basically an everyday thought-process for me. When I go back to my ‘normal life’ in Australia, my decision-making skills are going to be so much better than they used to be J
Here’s how I handle situations like this;
It’s all about ‘gut instinct’. Your ‘gut’ usually tries to tell you which choice is the better one, but you have to learn how to hear it. I’ve written an article about this here - https://www.monicasmit.com/post/is-your-gut-trying-to-tell-you-something
You don’t always hear it straight away; you have to give it time! It took me over an hour of dedicated thoughts to decide what to do in this situation. Dedicated, undistracted time to contemplate is necessary for this to work…the answer will come to you, I promise. It might not be the one you think you want, but it’ll be the right one!
Ok, so you’ve made the choice and you’re sticking to it…great. What now?
What if you regret your decision and second-guess it?
It’s important to trust your instincts with the decision it made. It’s normal to question it but you can’t stay in that ‘space’. For this to work, you must trust yourself to make the right choice. Even if it seems like you made the wrong one short-term, sometimes the positive outcome of that choice might not be immediate. You never know what it will actually lead to down the track. After training yourself to hear your instincts, ‘blind confidence’ in it’s abilities is important or you’ll never fully trust it.
In the example I’m using right now, I turned East instead of West…it changed everything! Any good or insightful experiences or people I meet from this day onwards will be because of that ‘small’ decision. It can seem insignificant at the time, but it’s actually huge!
I decided to stay in Yosemite one more day and did the Glen Aulin hike which was an extremely enjoyable hike. Every step I thought to myself how right my decision was.
I’ll give you one more example. After Yosemite I went to Lake Tahoe and planned to go North to Lassen National Park after that. While in Tahoe, I met a group of Pacific Crest Trail hikers. These people are hiking for 6 MONTHS from Mexico to Canada. They asked me for a lift to the trailhead, which I was happy to do. The trailhead was about 1 hour south (the opposite direction). On our way there, I saw how bad the traffic was to go back, so I decided to go East instead of North.
That one choice to give them a lift changed my plans entirely. That night I found myself in Sacramento at a 6pm Sunday-mass, met some lovely people, went to dinner with them and tonight I’m going to a young-adults event with them. Who knows who I’ll meet or what connections I’ll make because of that one, seemingly insignificant, choice. Even driving into Sacramento, my soul had a calming atmosphere about it…I knew I’d made the right decision and I knew it was all because of those hikers. The ‘chain-reaction’ from one small decision can be so huge!
Every decision you make is important, even the small ones. You must take these ‘everyday decisions’ seriously because they are serious!
People who say things like ‘oh well, you only live once, who cares, just do whatever you want’…they’re WRONG!
Yes, you only live once…SO MAKE IT COUNT! Make the right choice that will benefit you, your loved ones and the world! Don’t take decisions lightly…they matter!
The point of this article is to encourage you to make more decisions with you ‘gut’. Give your mind time to contemplate all decisions and be confident with your choice. Be ok with the outcome and understand that your instincts helped you make that choice. Whether you see it immediately or not is beside the point…trust your instincts! You got this :-)