Your Decision

Whether you are picking up a new skill set or just trying to keep your head above water, it’s important to remember where your power lies in this trying time.

It lies within you.

You have the power to change things you don’t like. It just starts with saying: I. Am. Tired. of _____.

And then you decide what happens next. That’s right, you decide.

Don’t worry about what other people are doing. You have to remember that you are at the helm of your own ship (relationship, friendship, or any other kind of ship.)

So, you pick where to sail to next – out into deeper waters or off a cliff.

It’s your decision. Even when things feel really out of hand.




No Reason

Do you think everything happens for a reason? Maybe you do.

But more importantly, do you think anything can happen without a reason? That is, if a person takes a day off of work, do you think they ever do it for no reason? Do you think people can do anything without explaining to themselves why they are doing something? (Basically, if someone makes a decision in a forest, does it make a sound, and do they still argue about the pros and cons with someone when they get back to their camp?)

Well, the more I see of the world, the more I don’t think we’re capable of doing anything without a reason. We are completely motivated by a logical (or sometimes illogical) argument. We hardly ever act without first weighing the consequences. We’re all like, I don’t think I need to help my fellow man until his or her house is floating away after the worst hurricane ever. Then, and only then, will I contribute anything to help someone. Or even, I can’t buy this ______ for myself because it isn’t my birthday and we’re months away from any holiday. I guess I’ll just wait until it goes on sale and I have five coupons.

The problem is that when you wait for a reason to do something, you’ll be waiting for most of your life.

I mean, how many times have you put away some money for a “rainy day?” And how many times have you dipped into it at a later date? (Now, I’m not saying to splurge every day, but I think it’s time to stop kidding yourself.) And what about asking someone out on a date? If you’re waiting to see whether he or she is interested in you, then you’ll have missed the opportunity to simply find out by asking them out in the first place.

Really, I think it’s time to stop creating fake reasons for yourself to simply live the life you want to live. We’re creatures of impulse and instinct, after all. I think it’s time that we all bought ourselves a pumpkin spiced latte simply because we’re alive, not because we’re looking to reward ourselves for something. “Treat yo’self” doesn’t even begin to cover it. More like “enjoy yo’self” a little everyday.

The point is that you are going to miss a lot of things in life if you stay on the same path. When you only do things that you have reasons for. Rather, it’s important to do some things for absolutely no reason. To talk to people who you have no reason to talk to. To take roads you have no reason to take. To make decisions that you have no reason to make. Then, and only then, can you see what possibilities your life may have to offer. Then, and only then, can you find your true potential.

A Teeny, Tiny Yes

Sometimes, it’s hard to make decisions. (Okay, pretty much all of the time.) Even when the hardest decision of your day is choosing what to eat for dinner, it can stump you. Well, I don’t want pizza because I had cheese last week, but if I try to cook something at home, it’ll be nothing short of a Chopped competition to put together all of the ingredients I have left over from last night…

So, what do you do? You ask for advice. Or shake a Magic 8 ball. Or flip a coin. And suddenly, the onus is not on you. You don’t have to worry about making a decision anymore because it is up to another person, toy-making skills in the 80’s, or fate itself. You’re like, I’m so glad I made the “Wheel of Food” where I just spin the wheel and out comes the menu choice! Chinese, again! Yes! I have high blood pressure and pork fried rice!

But the problem is that you quite literally lose control of your life when you leave it up to something or someone else to make your decisions for you. Because that’s all life really is in the end, the times you made a choice. Who you’ll date, where you’ll live, if you’ll go to the gym at all. Even the teeniest, tiniest yes to something can set you on the path to something great. Even the littlest, quietest no to something can carve out your place in the world. And if someone else is telling you what to do, if someone else is making the choices for you, can you even it call it your life?

So, yeah, it’s really hard to make some of the big decisions. You think, I need to talk to my elders. They’ll have more experience with choosing what to eat for dinner, and so, they’re wiser than I. But the fact is that they’re not living your life. Which makes you the only expert in that department, and thus, the only person who should be able to answer that question with any semblance of confidence.

Don’t complicate things. Just breathe, reach down inside, and pull out your decision. Whatever you choose, even if it is just a guess, will be better than any informed decision from anyone else.

The Ripple Effect

When we’re living our day to day life, it’s hard to imagine that something half way around the world could affect us. So, don’t. Don’t imagine it.

I mean. It’s absolutely true. But it’s hard to grasp, isn’t it? You can’t quite reconcile the fact that the metaphorical flap of the butterfly’s wing in one distant land could set off chaos in another. Because that’s hard. How could a decision made miles and miles away affect your life in this very second? You can’t really see that, can’t really touch it. It’s such a massive thought that it barely has borders or parameters.

So, let’s try to forget that concept for a moment. Rather, let’s try to imagine that something very close to you in your life changes. A loss of a friend. The death of a loved one. A new job. A college degree. These things we feel acutely, and with good reason. We’ve played some part in their happenings. We are somewhat responsible for what occurs as a result of them.

Now, consider the possibility of someone close to you doing something, that has absolutely nothing to do with you, with their own lives. An action that you cannot control and has everything to do with what they’re doing. Yet, it, somehow, still travels back to you. Still finds you.

This is called the ripple effect. Or at least, I call it that. For obvious reasons. A rock hitting the surface of a still pond or lake only touches the water where it falls. However, it sends energy to places that it never even touched in the form of ripples. But they do not extend completely across the entire body of water. It is, after all, a single rock.

Every decision you’ve ever made is like that. From deciding what to order at a restaurant to deciding which college you will attend in the fall. You’ve affected someone with your choices, whether you’ve known it or not. Whether you will ever know it or not.

Of course, I’m not trying to tell you this so that you become even more paranoid about the outcomes of your decisions. I’m not trying to strike fear into your heart at the thought of potentially ruining someone’s future because you ordered the salmon instead of the steak.

I’m simply trying to help you become more aware of the good and the bad repercussions of everything so that you won’t be paralyzed by what you decide. The reality is that you could actually inspire someone with the changes that you’re struggling with today. And you could actually come to appreciate a lapse in good judgment as the years tick forward.

Life is, and always will be, rather funny that way. But enjoy it all, every moment. You may not know which moment will count to you or to someone else. You may not ever know the depth of your ripples.