Every day we make choices and every day those choices have the potential of drastically affecting our lives in one way or another.
In the scientific community, scientists discuss theories about parallel universes and the effects our decisions make on “our other self” in another like universe in a different iteration of us.
Now, that train of thought may be an interesting discussion for the scientists to haggle over ─ and it is an interesting subject ─ but, I prefer to focus on how my choices mold my life in “this” universe.
But, just to bring it closer to home, imagine yourself at a fork in a road; you have a choice to make. Do I go left or do I go right? I know, it’s a 50-50 chance you’ll make a good choice. But, imagine there are not just two roads, but many.
I like to call these life’s decision points.
Not all are extremely important, but I believe the small choices are designed to help teach us when to spot these life-changing choices. Recognition of these types of decisions, after all, is an important part of knowing and evaluating how a choice is going to have an impact on our future.
The problem is, there are a lot of people who can’t seem to look at a road, or choice, and see the effect of the decision they are about to make.
Our lives are busy. Our lives are filled with ups and downs, and changes daily.
We sometimes can become overwhelmed with work, raising kids, figuring out our budgets, finding a job, becoming financially independent and so many of the other things that take up our time.
There are a lot of choices we make that have the potential to adversely impact all those “things” that overwhelm us, yet sometimes we make rash decisions or bad choices ─ and it happens, or has happened, to all of us at one time or another.
If you’ve ever said, “I wish I would have,” or “what if I had,” then it’s happened to you.
That is why learning to spot life-altering decision points is so important.
Most of the time, our worst enemy is ourselves, especially with decisions we make when we are emotional or going through a tough time.
Priorities are often skewed when we make emotional decisions, rather than when we take the emotion out of the equation and make a decision based on what we know.
Does buyer’s remorse ring a bell?
For some, misplaced priorities lead to bad decisions and have the potential to not only affect ourselves, but others, as well.
I learned a nice little tool in establishing priorities that has helped me along the way with setting priorities and is an initial step in deciding what’s important to you.
With all that is on your plate at any given point, imagine you have to fit everything into a jar that just doesn’t seem big enough to fit everything, but, you know it will all fit if organized properly.
First, place all of the things that concern you, but have no control over in the jar. These arbitrary “things” will be at the bottom and not consume your thoughts, and most important, your time. When you get a chance, you can give those things some thought.
Next, place the things that you are concerned with, but only have a little control over in the jar. These things we will call things that are important and could “possibly” have some kind of impact on you.
Finally, with space running out, the most important things go in last. You have put these things in last because not only are they things that are the most important, but they are things you have control over.
What is at the top of my jar? Family, relationships and loved ones.
While no one can really control a family, relationship or loved ones, we can control how we interact with them and it shows the importance we place on them.
Self control, and the choices we make, is one of the very few things in life we are in total control over and responsible for.
It is in this dimension, in this universe where those choices and decisions affect us and those around us ─ not a parallel universe where life can exist in another plane with another outcome.
Sometimes we only get one chance.
For some it’s hard to “see the forest past the trees,” when making the “right choice.” If you are one of those that have a difficult time recognizing those life-altering decision points, just be careful not to end up in the middle of the forest ─ the one you couldn’t see ─ without having a map.
And, if you are caught up in the middle of that deep dark forest, or somewhere in a parallel universe, there is always hope as long as you can step back, gather perspective and adjust your priorities and find a way to shine.