How to Make Good choices and make the most of themEverything you do every day is a decision made, consciously or otherwise.

When you get out of bed in the morning, you are deciding to continue with your life as you’ve arranged it so far. You are deciding not to rest any more, not to have a lie in, not to skip work or bail on any other arrangements. You are deciding to get up and be proactive about something, even if that something is just going to the loo and making a cup of tea before getting back into bed.

It was your choice.

Even if it seems obvious. Of course you’re going to get out of bed and go to work – you’ll lose your job otherwise.

But it’s still your decision to make an effort to keep that job. You can choose to put minimal effort in, you can choose to risk your position for a lie in. Whether or not you notice it, there is a choice there.

And while you probably sit down and thoroughly consider all your options when you know you’re doing something life-changing – thinking about buying a house or having a baby, for instance – there are many choices you probably coast through without really thinking about.

Which is fine if you’re already headed where you want to end up.

But if the job you’re working is one you got to pay bills, and then never got round to getting a better one. Or if the house you’re living in is one you got because the rent and council tax was affordable, and then you never got round to look elsewhere.

Then, you might want to think about even the little choices a bit more consideration.

Know where you want it to take you.

Why are you doing it? What’s your ultimate goal? Is this a step to something bigger and better and more desirable? Or is it just a temporary thing until those goals feel a bit more realistic? Know why you’re making the decision. Know what it will do for you in terms of your long term plan. And if you don’t have a long term plan yet, maybe you should think about one.

Consider every option thoroughly.

Sometimes, it might not seem like there are other options. But it’s worth taking the time to look into what else you might do. Think carefully about the pros and cons of each different route you could take. The best option might not be obvious and you’ll likely fare better if you don’t go for the most convenient one for no real reason.

Don’t waste time considering obvious mistakes.

The best options are often not clear, but the worst ones almost always are. If you want to be a doctor, don’t waste your time and money on a Performing Arts degree, even if it does look like fun. If you want to live in the countryside, don’t waste hours poring over house prices in London, no matter pretty the architecture can be. You not only waste your precious time, but you confuse yourself and you lose track of what you’re really aiming for.

Try a few options before you decide.

A lot of the various options you’ll have will seem eerily similar. If you’re running out of time or patience, then picking one at random probably won’t hurt. At most, you’ll have a niggling feeling that wonders what might have happened if you’d picked a different one. But you’ll probably have that anyway, given the number of things you’ve considered already. If you have the freedom to do so, it won’t hurt you to try a few out. Try a few different pairs of shoes before you buy them, to make sure you do get the ones the fit best. Go for a few house viewings before you put a deposit down on the first one you like.

Make sure that the things you commit to are things that you really want in your life.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen. 

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