We make them every single day of our lives. We make multiple decisions – every – day. Most of us get to a point that we don’t even think about the decisions we make, we are on auto pilot. For instance in the morning, getting my cup of coffee, brushing my teeth and getting dressed are automatic things that I no longer consciously think about before doing.
Regardless of whether I am consciously or unconsciously acting, these are decisions that could affect not only my future but my here and now. Not brushing my teeth could affect work relations instantly! Long term I could be looking at dentures.
Most of us do those types of things having made the decision a long time ago that this is the right action. There is nothing wrong with that. We’ve made the conscious decision at some point that this is the action to take. We are in charge. Our decisions today affect our tomorrow and either move us towards the future we want, or a future we don’t want.
We decide what clothes to wear. It seems this is a harder decision for women than men with the changing fashions. We decide what foods to eat and when we eat them. We decide the route to take to work, although that one often goes on the automatic pilot track.
Some decisions are weightier than others. Do I accept the transfer at work? It will mean relocating to a new city where i don’t know anyone. (I can’t help but wonder where we would be today If I had taken that transfer to Honolulu. )
Before you make a decision, you should ask yourself how it is going to help you tomorrow. How will it help you 5 years from now?
Choosing to splurge on that pizza is fine for the weekend game with your buddies but it can’t be the mainstay of your diet or else you will find yourself in the ER with a heart attack weighing in at 300 pounds when you are 48. Choosing to lounge on the sofa all day long is fine when it’s snowing outside and you don’t have to be anywhere specific. But if you chose, say next Tuesday and every Tuesday thereafter to be a couch potato and binge watch Supernatural while eating pizza will soon land you in the unemployment line, and eventually out of your apartment and on the street with no TV.
One decision leads to another. A series of bad decisions carries you to a future that is sad, sometimes wondering where did I go wrong?
It’s this way with weight gain. Oh, I’ll just have one brownie. Later that night you choose the pizza instead of the grilled chicken. The next day you feel lethargic so you get the jumbo sized soda. After a month you’ve gained weight and can’t imagine why. Hmmm, gee I wonder. All of those decisions have blurred together with a bad case of amnesia.
What about your financial future? A string of small expenses that didn’t seem like such a big deal at the time add up to quite a bit over time. Then suddenly, your washing machine goes out. It happens. Appliances are known to break at the least opportune time. You don’t have the money because you splurged on that cool leather jacket, and then that nice dinner out that ended up costing way more than you planned especially after the fourth margarita. OH, and then there was the fast food purchases because you were running late. Oh yeah and the little trip you took with your bestie when her boyfriend dumped her.
It’s not the glamorous life. It’s not even the cool life to be conscious of every decision but it is a life that will carry you to your dream future. Many years ago, I reached an epiphany. I remember it like it was yesterday. The recliner broke, the mechanical footrest thing on the sofa broke, the dishwasher broke, and the dryer went out all within a week. Our children were in grade school. My husband was finishing his bachelor’s degree. The company offered tuition reimbursement but what we didn’t count on was the interest that accumulated while carrying thousands of dollars for the semester. OK, so we were young and stupid!
Over the course of two years we had 5000 dollars of student debt that the company was not going to reimburse between the interest and the cost of books. This is when our appliances decided to go belly up. We had a decision to make. We could just put it on the credit card and add it to the amount. It’s what most people would do but not us. We had already decided that we were not going to live in debt. We had made a budget and the decision that we were going to get out of debt and stay out of debt.
We made trips to the laundromat every week. I washed dishes the old fashioned way, with my hands and we decided that we would sit on lawnchairs if we had to, but we were not going to run up anymore debt. It was uncomfortable. It was difficult, but it was a decision that we made and stuck to. It was challenged on every turn. There were multiple opportunities to just use the credit card.
My point is, you have the opportunity to direct your future by each decision you make. Each good decision builds on the last one. Think before you just react on autopilot. Sometimes the right decision is not the easy decision. Aren’t you worth the hard choices? Isn’t your future worth a little bit if discomfort today?
Ask yourself where you will be in six months if you choose option A or option B. You have the keys to your future in your hands each and every time you make a decision. You can create your own destiny and own it instead of ten years down the road feeling victimized by life and kicking yourself.
There are times for a swift kick in the butt, but that isn’t one of them. What can you do today for yourself tomorrow? What can you do today that will move you in the direction of the future you want?
Think about it then act accordingly.
Write on my friends, write on.