Choices and DecisionsHave you stopped and thought about the choices and decisions you’ve made thus far in life?

Life is like a road. There are long and short roads; smooth and rocky roads; crooked and straight paths. In our life many roads can present themselves along the way as we journey through life.

There are roads that lead to a life of single blessedness, marriage, and religious vocation. There are also roads that lead to fame and fortune on one hand, or isolation and poverty on the other. There are roads to happiness and there are roads to sadness, roads towards victory and jubilation, and roads leading to defeat and disappointment.

Just like any road, there are bumps, corners, detours, and crossroads in life. Perhaps the most perplexing road that you will encounter is a crossroad. With four roads to choose from and perhaps limited knowledge on where they’ll take you, which road will you take? What is the guarantee that we make the right choices along the way? Would you take any road, or just stay where you are: in the middle of a crossroad?

There are no guarantees.

You do not really know where a road will lead you until you take it. There are no guarantees. Nobody said that choosing to do the right thing all the time would always lead you to happiness. Loving someone with all your heart does not guarantee that it would be returned. Gaining fame and fortune does not guarantee happiness.

Accepting a good word from an influential superior to short cut your trip up the career ladder is not always bad, especially if you are highly qualified and competent.  There are many possible outcomes, which you really cannot control. The only thing you have power over is the decisions that you will make, and how you would act and react to different situations.

Wrong decisions are always at hindsight.

Had you known that you were making a wrong decision, would you have gone along with it? Perhaps not, why would you choose a certain path if you knew it would get you lost? Why make a certain decision if you knew from the very beginning that it is not the right one. It is only after you have made a decision and reflected on it that you realize its soundness. If the consequences or outcomes are good for you, then you have decided correctly.

Take the risk: Decide.

Since life offers no guarantee and you would never know that your decision would be wrong until you have made it, then you might as well take the risk, go for it and decide. It’s definitely better than staying in limbo.

Although it is true that one wrong turn could get you lost, it could also be that such a turn could be an opportunity for an adventure… maybe even open more roads. It is all a matter of perspective. You have the choice between being a lost traveler or an accidental tourist of life.  But be careful that you do not make decisions haphazardly. Taking risks is not about being careless and stupid. Here are some tips that may help you choose the best option in the face of life’s crossroads:

Get as much information as you can about your situation.

You can’t find the confidence to decide when you know little about what you are faced with. Just like any news reporter, ask the 5 Ws: what, who, when, where, and why. What is the situation? Who are the people involved? When did this happen? Where is this leading? Why are you in this situation? These are just some of the possible questions to ask to know more about your situation. This is important. Often, the reason for indecision is the lack of information about a situation.

Identify and create options.

What options does the situation give you? Sometimes the options are few, but sometimes they are many. So what do you do when you think that the situation offers no options? This is the time that you create your own. Get your creative mind working. From the most simplistic to the most complicated, entertain all ideas.

Do not shoot anything down when an idea comes to your head. Sometimes the most outrageous idea could prove to be the right one in the end. You can ask a friend to help you identify options and even make more options if you encounter some difficulty, but make sure that you make the decision yourself in the end.

Weigh the pros and cons of every option.

Assess each option by looking at the advantages and disadvantages it offers you. In this way, you get more insights about the consequences of such an option.

Trust yourself and make that decision.

Now that you’ve assessed your options, it’s now time to trust yourself. Remember that there are no guarantees and wrong decisions are always at hindsight.  So choose – decide and believe that you are choosing the best option at this point in time.

Now that you have made a decision, be ready to face its consequences: good and bad. It may take you to a place of promise or to a land of problems. But the important thing is that you have chosen to live your life instead of remaining a bystander or a passive witness to your own life. Whether it is the right decision or not, only time can tell. But do not regret it whatever the outcome. Instead, learn from it and remember that you always have the chance to make different decisions in the future.