Have you ever wondered how your life might have turned out differently had you made different choices or decisions along the way? If you had made different career decisions or relationship ones? If you had developed a different life philosophy or attitudes as the years passed? Over time you learned to define adversity, failure or success differently?
I could ask you hundreds of questions like these, but the real question is – are you content and happy with the choices you have made and how they have turned out or are you carrying around some regrets in your mind or life as you look back as well as look ahead to what might be next?
Life is an ongoing adventure, one which we can control some things but not everything. So another question might be – how are you controlling those things that are within your control and how are you dealing with those that you lack control of?
I love thought-provoking questions, they always force me to consider and reconsider previous choices, decisions, actions and behaviors. Do you have the habit of asking yourself challenging and often painful questions or do you just slide from one day and one year to the next grounded in assumptions, conventional wisdom, apparent emotional comfort and the status quo? Do you have the courage to confront those areas of your life that might be or could be better or different or do you settle easily or quickly when life throws you a difficult issue or situation?
As you move from year to year or even month to month why not ask yourself a simple yet often painful question – how would you like your life to be different in the future? How about one more. What are you willing to do, stop doing, start, change or modify in your life in some way to begin to create the future you envision for yourself? It could be a financial, relationship, health or spiritual area or some combination of these.
One of my favorite lines I read years ago is – don't die wondering. What does this mean exactly? To me it implies that I always have the power of choice but another probing question is – do I have the power of will?
Often in my life I have been faced with opposing issues and both or either from a realistic perspective seemed right at the time. Often this attitude was grounded in either arrogance or ignorance and an unwillingness to really pick apart the particular issue. I can recall years ago when trying to make, no justify, a relationship decision, feeling either choice was right at the time. But I can tell you that even though in my mind both appeared on the surface to be justified and acceptable my heart kept pulling in one direction one minute then a totally different direction the next minute. If I had been honest with myself, I really didn't know what to do. It is often difficult to trust your mind that is often driven by ego needs rather than your heart that just wants you to know peace and happiness.
Back and forth the battle continued. This or that? Now or later? Should I or shouldn't I? This endless inner battle was exhausting, painful and often stressful. I know what I want and either decision will give me that but I can't do or have both. A dilemma – you betcha. Was I able to resolve it over time? Well that depends. Often we justify our choices and decisions for the wrong reasons. Ever done that? If your answer is no, I would ask you – are you really being honest with yourself.
So, you might ask, what's the answer or solution?
For me it was trying to figure out what would cause this heart-pain to leave me and when and if I could do that the choice became clear. Not all choices or decisions are that simple and many can take hours or even weeks of contemplation. But in the end you have to choose and that's often the difficult challenge because you may want both. Often you can have both but if there is conflicting outcomes or motives the choice must be made.
Sometimes you just have to – let go and trust. Trust what? Feelings? Emotions? Inner pain? Other's opinions or suggestions? Your history and previous lessons? See what I mean, this can be very a difficult process, I know, I have been through it many times in my life.
Sometimes I chose wisely for the right reasons. Sometimes I chose rightly for the wrong reasons. In the end what really matters is inner peace, contentment and happiness.