When life was different
I wrote this two months ago when life was very different, and even had it scheduled. And then, the proverbial you-know-what hit the fan. So I pulled it, and about half a dozen other posts out of the schedule. They just didn’t seem important. But this one? It still applies and is still relevant. Maybe even more so:
Every bit of life is about choices we make.
How we chose to respond to something.
What we choose to do every day. Every moment, really.
The food we nourish ourselves with.
How we choose to prepare for our lives.
The work we decide to do.
Choice can determine happiness
Learning to choose wisely has a lot to do with our happiness and our success in life. The other day I realized that I didn’t really “get” that until I was well into my adulthood.
But once I did, I realized that I felt unqualified to make choices. That’s because I grew up with controlling parents who made all decisions for me.
A good provider, food and clothing, educational opportunities, a family vacation–that was how parents in my generation and culture viewed their role.
Preparing us to make decisions? To choose wisely? Not on the list.
Stumbling through decisions
So I stumbled through some choices in life. Sometimes they were the right ones. Sometimes I definitely stepped in it. My life ended up ok. More than ok. But part of it was dumb luck.
I remember thinking that having more choices was harder than having fewer. I know that sounds so privileged and maybe even stupid, especially if you’ve had few choices. But analysis paralysis is real, especially if you never learned how to choose.
My husband likes to refer to the old Soviet days, when all cars were black and you had your choice of black or black. Housing was assigned. Choice didn’t exist. It was certainly easier. Just not necessarily satisfying.
Here’s what I’ve learned do to choose wisely: (and this applies to life now, too)
1. Understand the goal and objective(s).
2. Explore the available options.
3. Review the pros and cons against the options– and evidence in favor of or against each. I’ve done that since I was a teenager deciding on a major. But it seemed much clearer to me then.
4. Be sure to evaluate the risks involved in each option.
5. Don’t rush to conclusions–take the time you need to think it through, mull it over. And let it sit for a bit if you can.
6. Once made, evaluate the decision along the way. Know that very few things are final. You can always take a different direction in the future.
If you’ve got tips and tricks you use to choose wisely, I’d love to see them in the Comments. Stay safe, healthy and anxiety-free.
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Managing Anxiety Audio bit.ly/2wKWfZA
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