One of the ironies of modern life is that the very freedom that we consider a basic human right can be the source of so much stress. First world problems, right? But around me I’m seeing so many people hung up on the decisions that they need to make. They fret. Because as per economic theory, there is an opportunity cost for each path they choose. Because sometimes the decision is not straight forward – sometimes there is a need to choose between the lesser of two evils, or two equally bad or equally good ones. Or because the decision is life changing.
Consider the lady who’s at a point in her life where she has to decide whether to change jobs to progress her career, or whether she should stay (unsatisfied) in a job so that she will be able to take advantage of the maternity leave benefits.
Or the point where a young couple has to decide whether to stretch their budget and step into their first mortgage, or use their savings and go on a round the world trip of a lifetime.
Or the expat Aussie, living it up in London/Hong Kong/New York/Singapore with a great career, earning great money, living in a great little flat and partying with great friends. But they dearly miss their family and friends back home, and of course the Aussie beaches and weather. To stay or to go back home?
At a glance each decision comes with consequences that are somewhat equally weighted. Life is full of them. So what would you do?
At the end of the day decisions like these seem to come down to a combination of life stage, your values and your ethics – family, financial, rational, emotional, duty, live for today, plan for tomorrow. Sharing your thought processes with a confindant (friend, family, colleague, or a few thousand fellow bloggers) can help with clarity as we tend to associate with people who share our values and ethics.
However you make your life decisions, try not to let the process and the “what ifs” overwhelm you. Trust that you have the capability to make the right decision for you and then put 100% into making it work. Never look back, even if it doesn’t quite work out the way you thought it would. There might just be another opportunity waiting for you right around the corner. Or perhaps it’s right in front of you.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.”
– Alexander Graham Bell