“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately your own responsibility.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
The decisions we make today goes a long way toward determining our future. Our choices lead to actions and actions lead to consequences. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad.
The beauty of choices is that you have the freedom to make any choice you want. You should never make choices just because of what other people want because you ultimately have to live with your choices and the resulting consequences, not them.
My senior year in high school, I had to decide on where I was going to attend college. I knew what my family wanted and I knew what I wanted; and they were not the same.
Being from a small town, I wanted to move to another town and go to school on my own. My family wanted me to stay home to attend college. I knew that wasn’t something I wanted to do. So, eventually I had a tough decision to make. I didn’t want to disappoint my family by making a decision that didn’t make them happy. I also didn’t want to make a decision that I knew was not going to make me happy.
What was I supposed to do? Do I make everyone happy? Do I make myself happy?
As my senior year of high school started coming to an end I knew it would be time to decide soon, so I turned to my older sister for advice. My sister was once in my shoes so I knew she understood my situation. I told her I was torn between staying and going.
“Go! I know that’s what you want to do, so just go and make your own journey,” She said. “You’ll never be happy making decisions to please others, even if it’s someone close to you because your decision defines your character, which molds you into the person whom you’re going to be”.
WOW! My sister made me feel so much better, because I was worried if my family would be mad at me for deciding to move. When I told my family, they were sad at first. They didn’t want me to go away because they were worried about me. Maybe because I’d do something crazy like go sky-diving!
WHAT? Imagine if I would have made the decision to stay just because they would have been worried. I probably would have had regrets, which I might have allowed to control my mood in a negative way.
Ultimately, however, my parents wanted what was best for me and whatever made me happy.
When I finally moved in to my place, I was happy and I instantly knew I made the right decision. Now that I am done with school, I am glad I made the choice to move.
As I got older, my sister’s advice stuck with me and helped me make future decisions. I must admit that some decisions I’ve made haven’t been all that good and I’ve gotten stuck with the consequences. Yet, most importantly, I’ve learned from all the choices I’ve made – good or bad.
Life is about choices and choices are about learning. From experience, I can truly say I have made plenty of bad choices. When you make a bad decision, don’t let that bad decision “make you”. Learn from a bad decision and move on. Learning from bad decisions build character.
Think wisely about your decisions, and even if they don’t come out to be what you expected, still learn and move on. Know that you have the freedom to make your own choices.
If you don’t learn from your choices, they will “make you”.