Sunday June 23rd 2024

Heads or Tails?



I’ve done some stupid things in my time and made some really daft decisions too. It makes me wince even now when I reflect on some of my more embarrassing episodes.

But I like to think that I learned from those mistakes…and seldom made them twice. It comes as a surprise then when I encounter people who seem to have developed into an art form the ability to make the same mistakes over and over again.

It’s all to do with choice.

Every day each of us are faced with a multitude of decisions and choices.  Most of them are trivial and not likely to have serious repercussions either way.  It really doesn’t matter much what you decided to have for breakfast or decided to wear today.

You could easily have tossed a coin to help you choose.

There are however many decisions we are faced with, some regularly and some just occasionally, that deserve a great deal more thought than a flip of a coin because you could be gambling with your future.

Even when we were much younger and still at school we became familiar with making choices. For example, the friends we made and whether homework was more or less important than watching TV. (Nowadays playing computer games or spending hours on Facebook is the big temptation.)

Naturally at that stage in our lives we were far from being totally responsible for ourselves as most of the decisions were made for us.

Nevertheless the choices we were allowed to make were, even then, beginning to determine the shape of our lives.

Then we grew up and left home.

And where you are today is primarily a result of all the choices you have been confronted with and the decisions you have made from that time up until now.

Too many people look around for somebody or something to blame if things aren’t going their way, when in reality the fault lies squarely on their own shoulders.   Regardless of what setbacks you may encounter from time to time it’s how you deal with them that impact the eventual outcome.

 And that’s a matter of choice.

Here is just a short list to illustrate the point.

  • Every day you can choose to be positive or negative.
  • You can choose to look for the good in somebody or look for their faults.
  • You can be organised or choose to live your life in chaos.
  • You can choose to build your reputation for being reliable or unreliable.
  • You can choose to put some enthusiasm in your life.
  • You can continue to study and learn, or remain as you are.
  • You can choose to spend more money than you earn or choose to save some of it.
  • You can choose to smoke or not to smoke.
  • You can choose to eat healthily or be a ‘takeaway junkie’.
  • You choose what you read.
  • You choose who you associate with.
  • You choose what you listen to.
  • You choose what you want to believe.
  • You choose how you behave.
  • You choose how you are perceived by other people.
  • You choose what you really want and expect from your life.

Now these are just some of the issues that will ultimately determine what kind of life you will lead. How happy you are, how healthy you are, how fulfilled you eventually become.

But making the right decisions and choosing the right course of action isn’t that easy!

I don’t want to make it sound as if you can magically get everything right in your life from now on. There are some profound reasons why people continue to make poor choices and decisions.

No doubt you probably know someone who goes from one disastrous relationship to another and who regularly succeeds in choosing partners who may be abusive and damaging.

Why do they keep making the same mistake? 

Why are some people always broke and struggling with debt?  Why are some people always late for an appointment?  Why do some people have a hard time in telling the truth?  Why do some people make promises but seldom keep them?

Even though people genuinely believe they will change, and seem determined to do so, they rarely succeed.   How many people give up on their New Year resolutions before January is even out?

So what are the factors that determine our choices and the decisions we make?

In the next few articles we’ll take a good look at what has almost certainly affected you in the past and how you can confidently make better choices and wiser decisions in the future.




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