Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, week, month, year, decade, lifetime we make choices. Some are as innocuous as what to eat for breakfast, while others are life-changing events that will determine our very future.
Is it possible to live even one day without having to make a choice? The answer for me so far has been a resounding, “no.”
Some choices require a lot of research while still others can be made by the flip of a coin without much consequence either way.
Seriously, no regrets?
I once heard a person say that he had absolutely no regrets. The man who stated this was in his forties at the time, and I gasped in disbelief when he said it. He gave me a look as though I had just insulted the very core of his being, but if you know me, I’ve always had a difficult time hiding my emotions.
I mean seriously, not even one regret in almost half a century on this planet? You never wished you had chosen a different flavor ice cream? You never got the car home and wished you had looked at a few more colors? You never said any thing off-the-cuff to a friend or loved one you wished you could take back?
You’re telling me, every choice you’ve made up until now has been the right one?
Now, this guy was either a liar or thought me a fool.
What scares me most
Unlike this perfect example of humankind, I have made plenty of poor choices and what scares me most is that I may not be done. If history serves, I am definitely not done.
The good news is that at my age, my choices have gotten fewer, so mathematically speaking, I will make fewer bad choices.
As a younger man, I could be a bit more flippant about life’s choices as I was relying (foolishly perhaps) on having enough time to recover should the decision turn out wrong–sort of like making the wrong turn when there’s plenty of fuel in the tank. You may burn a few more gallons than you would have otherwise, but you’ll likely have enough gas to get back on track and reach your destination.
But when the fuel light is already on, one wrong turn can easily spell disaster.
What’s perplexed me most about my own life, though, is how many bad choices I’ve made that I knew were bad choices when I made them.
- There were girls I knew I never should have spoken to the second time that crushed me before the ride was over.
- There were jobs I took that had red lights flashing from every corridor that I still pursued with no intention of turning back.
- There were trips I took that I regretted agreeing to before I even started packing my bags.
So far, none of the choices I’ve made have killed me (though a few came close).
As another year draws to a close, like so many others do, I’ll make plans to make better choices and, who knows, maybe I really will this time.
Navigating future choices
A few of the guidelines I plan to incorporate when making those choices will include the following:
- Will this choice irreparably harm any one I love?
- Will this choice bring about undue hardship on the public at large?
- Will this choice please my heavenly Father?
- Will this choice bring a smile to the face of someone who needs it?
- Will this choice give my family peace and security?
- Will this choice be one that has no regrets attached to it?
As the calendar turns the page on another year, my sincere hope is that those reading these simple words will make better choices for themselves and those they love.
Peace from Roger and me and the Happiest New Year to all of you.