Choosing Your Path Knowingly


In order to achieve a happy life, a rational person must be able to take responsibility for himself. What this means is that a person should be able to know the ins and outs of who they are, what they are going to do, and why they are going to do it. Of course this is just in the realm of decision-making.

But decision making is a tremendously large aspect of our lives. Most of our days our filled with very small to fantastically large decisions. As I type write now, I decide which sentence will come after which. I decide how I want this article to look and feel. These are relatively small decisions compared to others such as deciding whether or not to get married, deciding on a college field of study, and deciding just what career you wish to pursue.

These decisions are much harder to sift through. There are so many factors involved that it may seem impossible to determine which fork in the road to follow. But they are decisions that will have to be made by most sometime in their life.

And why not make these decisions? There are many goods to be had in deciding to spend your life with another person. There is much success possible if you decide to pursue higher education.

Focus on the Negative

The problem lies with the negative side of the decision. And there are negative sides to every decision, otherwise they would not be hard decisions at all. Even the small decisions sometimes have negative consequences. In typing this article a certain way, it may be the case that someone reads it and may eventually decide not to get married, and it may be for a bad reason. That's not the intention of this article at all. Even though that is a weird example, it is the case that sometimes even though we have good intentions, our actions create chaos, whether we like it or not.

In that case we have to be somewhat careful in our decision making process. Is this decision going to have the opposite effect of what I would like it to have, even though my intentions are good? It may not be so clear. That is why we must become aware of the effects our decisions may have upon people, places, and things.

You've Made the Decision

But what about after you have made the decision? You've weighed the pros and cons, and you have to make it eventually, right? But where do those pros and cons go? They don't just disappear. They are still in the process, just waiting to pounce on you the moment you forget they ever existed.

And you most likely will. Us humans have a nasty way of forgetting these things. When you're making the decision you focus on the good and bad, positive and negative, but after the decision has been made, you begin to focus only on the good. You begin to form expectations about the way things should go, when only it is how you wish things would go.

You end up making the decision for the possible good that may come out of it, so why would you think things may go otherwise than the good you expected. This is a mistake that can be made so easily; we always overrate our ability to see the outcome of things.

The Consequences

Every choice has its consequences, whether they be good or bad. By choosing a certain path, you are not only choosing the good, even if you wish you could, but you are also choosing the bad.

Choosing the bad. It may seem strange, but that really is what is going on. You are choosing to make mistakes in the future, you are choosing to get into fights with your spouse, you are choosing to have money problems. You are choosing these possibilities when you choose the path that inherits them.

Becoming Aware

So, when you choose to do something, you must become aware of the bad that may occur. And if it does occur, why do you fight it so valiantly, as if somehow the universe has done you some great misfortune.

Sometimes choices just do not work out in the ways we planned, but really, we knew this from the beginning. And if we didn't, then we are not taking responsibility for ourselves.

The process of choosing does not end with a single thought. A choice is a process, when you choose you inherit everything that the path has to offer. Everyday you choose to see that path come to fruition, the good and bad. Why must you be so surprised when the bad happens?

Life is the sum of all your choices. ~Albert Camus

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