Life is like a road. There are long and short roads; smooth and rough roads; windy and straight roads. Many roads are on the map as we journey through life. There are roads that lead to a life of marriage and family or others that lead to a fulfilling career with our without a family. There are roads that lead to fame and fortune on one hand or isolation and poverty on the other. There are roads to happiness as there are roads to sadness, roads towards victory and success, and roads leading to defeat and disappointment.
Just like any road, there are corners, detours, and crossroads in life. Perhaps the most perplexing road that you would encounter is an intersection. With four roads to choose from and with limited knowledge on where they would go, which road will you take? What is the guarantee that you will choose the right one? Will you take any road, or just stay where you are: in front of a crossroad?
Guess what-There are no guarantees!
You do not really know where a road will lead you until you take it. There are no guarantees. This is one of the most important things you need to realise about life. Choosing to do the right thing ( what even is 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. Certainly fame and fortune does not guarantee happiness. Fast tracking your way up the corporate ladder by accepting a “favour” from somebody is not always bad, especially if you are highly qualified and competent. There are too 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 far clearer in 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 when you know 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 realise its relevance. If the consequences or outcomes are good for you, then you have decided correctly. Otherwise, your decision was wrong, but even a seemingly “bad” decision can produce some positive benefits. Taking the wrong path might turn into “the scenic route” where you discover new things. That bad career move might have given you a skill that you would not have otherwise achieved, or maybe a bad relationship created beautiful children that you cherish.
Take the risk: decide.
Since life offers no guarantee and you will never know that your decision would be wrong until you have made it, then you might as well take the educated risk and decide. It is definitely better than keeping yourself stuck in a rut complaining that nothing ever goes right, or dreaming that “one day life will change”. 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, as you discover more roads. It is all a matter of perspective. You have the choice between being a lost aimless traveller or an accidental tourist of life. But take caution that you do not make decisions haphazardly. Taking risks is not about being careless and stupid. Here are some pointers that could help you choose the best option in the face of life’s crossroads:
· Get as much information as you can about your situation.
You cannot find the confidence to decide when you know so little about what you are faced with. Just like any news reporter, ask the 5 W’s: 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. Oftentimes, the reason for indecision is the lack of information about a situation.
· Identify and create options.
What options do the situation give you? Sometimes the options are few, but sometimes they are numerous. But what do you do when you think that the situation offers no options? This is the time that you create your own. Make your creative mind work. 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. Remember there is rarely only one road to any given destination.
Consider this scenario. You wish to travel from Brisbane to Sydney – you have no time restraints to arrival time. Will you fly? Will you take a coach? Will you drive? Which highway will you take? There are many options, but in the end, all will see you arrive at your destination. Are any one of these paths “wrong?”
· 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 into the consequences of such an option.
· Trust yourself and make that decision.
Now that you have assessed your options, it is now time to trust yourself. Remember that there are no guarantees and wrong decisions are always at hindsight. So choose… decide… 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 onlooker of 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 better decisions in the future.
· Take action and make the move.
The next step from making the decision is to take ACTION. After all, it is no good if you are at the intersection, with the brakes on and you decide to go right and do not move your foot to the accelerator. Without action, you will remain right where you are – good or bad decision.
On my path of life, I am aiming to create a 10/10 life for myself in all areas.