Choices and consequences. Every single day, we are faced with a lot of choices. Out of all these choices, we make a decision. We buy that dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate from the store. When it’s red light and there are no coming cars, we cross the street even when we know we violate the rule. Instead of attending to our tasks, we decide to distract ourselves with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. We even decide to snooze our alarm even when we know we could be much more productive if we just get up earlier.
But, why are some of our decisions in life are so hard to make? The things I’ve mentioned earlier are just “impulse” – which are the things we make on the spot, without any second thought. Luckily, these “impulse” decisions have short-term consequences. I’m saying this because there are decisions, which we’re unaware of at the very moment we create them, which can end up having more long term consequences sprouting at a latter part of our life than we can actually think.
So, how do we know when a decision is hard to make? The answer is when we are painfully aware of the long term consequences. At that very moment you choose to do that thing, you must realize its echoes can last a year, a decade or a lifetime. To sum it up, you better be happy with what you decided because most of the time, there’s no turning back. Decisions. Decisions. What to do with career? Whether or not to get married? Whether or not to live abroad? Whether or not to have children? Whether to invest here or there? Whether to work or travel? Whether to stay or leave? Simple words, yet too heavy to think about. Some of which will cling to you all the way to your grave.
The difficulty of making decision given the choices boils down to it, being a dilemma. Suppose you only have a twenty-peso and you can only choose between a chocolate ice cream or strawberry ice cream. If you buy the chocolate ice cream, it will surely be delicious. Yet, the knowledge still lingers that you could have had that strawberry flavor in your mouth. Same is true if you pick the strawberry ice cream instead of the chocolate. Well of course, this case is exaggerated since you can always work your ass off so you can buy both. What I’m pointing here is in life, there are cases where you can never have both – and you need to decide.
How hard is it to make one?
To appreciate how hard it is to make a decision, assume that every single time you decide, you are disposing a potential future that could have been just to be left with what you have chosen at that moment. I love this quote from Michel de Montaigne.
“The infancies of all things are feeble and weak. We must keep our eyes open at their beginnings; you cannot find the danger then because it is so small; once it has grown, you cannot find the cure.” — Michel de Montaigne, 16th century French essayist
Even when decisions are hard to make, why do we still make them? The answer is simple. It defines who you are and who you will become. The journey won’t be easy. But, don’t mourn with the past. For every regret and bad decision from the past, just think of what valuable thing you learn from it so you can move forward from indecisiveness to decisiveness. To choose is to be given the liberty, the freedom. It allows us to live our life the way we want it be lived. Right now, I long for that freedom.
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Cha of Little Misadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, researcher and a fur mom. She came from General Santos City and finds that everything in life teaches her a lesson. She is inspired to write about and out of her experiences, but later found out that it was her experiences that actually inspire her.