A great quote says, “Everything we do is based on the choices we make. It’s not our parents, our past relationships, our job, the economy, the weather, an argument, or our age that is to blame. We are responsible for every decision and every choice we make. Period!”
Choices are inevitable to life. If we live, there will always be a choice to be made. So, how do we make the right or the best choice? Three things to consider when faced with fork in the road (choice) moments.
1. Fear of Failure – Fear can dominate our choices. Fear can cause us to react before we think. However, all fear is not bad but needs to be separated with proper thoughts. Emotional fear and factual fear are the two that need to be separated. When we are emotionally fearful it could mean that we don’t fully understand what’s before us and need to gain more knowledge or understanding. When we are fearful due to facts means that we have a understanding of what the choice entails and the possible outcomes that are associated. Factual fear is what we should base our choices on.
Gather the facts and be in control over your emotional fears. When fears are controlled, your choices can be solid and sure even if the outcome is not favorable. You know you have made the best choice possible. Experiencing failure after making a wise choice is an opportunity to grow and learn from your mistakes. You can make better choices than the ones you made yesterday.
2. Over-Thinking – Making controlled choices takes place in our minds first. In our minds we often struggle with over-thinking and over-complicating our problems. Clarity must be made between an ‘over analysis’ and a ‘useful analysis. Let's work to make our thoughts useful.
Restrict repetitive thoughts that are not producing actions is a must for your success. Over-analyzing’ is detrimental to productive decision making. To make your thoughts useful and productive, structure is needed. Have your standards and your goals in view when about to make a choice. Allow them to guide your decision making.
3. Balance - Being balanced is key to making the proper choices in every situation. An unbalanced life allows feelings to rule and logic to be out the door. On the other side of an unbalanced life is being ruled by just the ‘facts’ without feelings. For example, If I were to ONLY be ruled by my feelings I might bet my mortgage on the winning team of the Super Bowl. Acting on that feeling would be a bad choice. On the other hand we can sometimes be so consumed by ‘the facts’ that we miss solutions! (i.e. - It has to be done this way because it worked last time.) We must strive for balance of the two.
Work to have balance between your gut instincts (feelings) and intellectual incite (facts). When in balance you will not be led by a sensory gain (i.e. pleasure of any kind) – but is usually preceded by quiet contemplation. Ask yourself the moral sound question: “Will the choice I’m about to make benefit everyone involved?” Be balanced in all your choices.
Summary – You can control your choices to reflect who you desire to be. Control your fears by running them through the facts, don't over-think but put your thoughts into action steps to your goals, and balance your gut feelings and the facts to be real but solid. Make controlled choices!