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Making Choices

The whole thing about making choices can be tricky, but because life is all about the choices we make, it is something worth spending some time considering.  It would be nice if everything in our lives was either black or white.  Do this or do that. Just hard-core binary options.  Nice and simple.  But by now, you should have realised that life often isn’t nice and simple.  Oh yes, you do need to make choices, but life isn’t just black or white; life is full of grey options.  Trying to make the right choices in our lives can feel like driving a car, at night, on a winding road, through the woods, in the fog, and you aren’t able to slow the car down.  Not a good feeling.  The good news is that there are some things you can do to help ensure that the choices you are making are good ones.


The first thing you need to do is have a vision for the future of what you would like your life to be like.  Don’t get all detail-crazy about the vision, but do think about what kind of life you would like; Live in the country?  Live in the city?  Live on water?  Do you want to live alone?  With someone?  Work alone?  Work in a big company?  Work with a few people?  Think about what you would like your future life to look like; and when you think you have a picture of what that would look like, start to see yourself in that picture.  What are you doing?  How are you interacting with others?  As if you were watching a movie, close your eyes and see yourself living and working in this future environment you would like.  Keep fine-tuning that future vision of yourself until you can see yourself clearly.  Then think about what your life is now.  Where and how are you living?  Is this life satisfying?  If you keep doing what you are doing, after ten years or so, will this life be the same as the one you want?  If that answer is yes, well then you have made some good choices, but if your current life will not directly lead to your desired future life, then you need to re-think some of the choices you are making.

The key to all this should be pretty obvious.  If you want to have a life that you want in the future, you first need to have a pretty good idea of what life would look like.  That is why you need to have a vision.   This isn’t saying, “I would like to own a nice little cottage with a white picket-fence on a tree-lined street.”  Your vision should be more about “how” you would like to live than where.  If you can’t see your future vision, with you in it, then it is pretty hard to understand you will get there.  Spend some time closing your eyes and watching your vision-video; watching yourself in that future life.  Living the life you would like to have.  Keep flipping the video from the desired future to your current reality.  Think about what the differences are.  Where are the gaps between where you are going now, and where you would like to be in the future?

If you are really serious about this, It wouldn’t hurt to make a three column matrix.  The left-hand column should list things like the characteristics that you think are important in your life.  The centre-column should list what those characteristics are in your current reality.  The right-hand column is for identifying what those characteristics would look like in your future life.  How many rows (the characteristics you list) is up to you and depends on how much detail you want to identify.  Once you have the matrix, it would be good if you look at it often.  Once a day?  Once a week?  Once a month?  Your decision, but I can tell you that if you look at it on a regular basis, your chances of closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be will be harder to close.

By doing all this, here is what will happen.  You will find that the choices you make in your life – big choices, little choices….all choices –  will be subliminally compared to see if they will help you move closer to your desired future…or instead perhaps lead you to some options that might seem cool and sexy at the time.  Cool and sexy options can be nice distractions, but distractions are what they are.  If your choices don’t help you move closer and closer to having the life you would like to have, then you won’t get it. One day in the future, you will wake up one day and wonder how you got to where you are then.  Then it is too late to start making the choices you need to make to have the life you want.

By Dr James B Rieley

+34 620 224 341