A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably
have his choice made for him by circumstance
— Hunter S. Thompson

Credit: Brent D. Payne

Everyday we make choices, and the choices we make define our fate. But there are two kinds of choices we make: There are the choices we make once, and there are the choices we have to make over and over, day after day.

The choices we make once are one-off decisions. We make them and that’s it: they’re done with and we live with them for the rest of our lives. They might be as simple as a splurge impulse buy, or they can be as big as the blue pill or the red pill.

Then there are the choices we have to make everyday, over and over again. These are the tougher choices because they require resolve and will power. The first time we make them, we’re choosing to have to make them again tomorrow, and they’ll be easier to make again on some days than on others.

These choice are even tougher because the decision to stop making them over and over again, is a one-off decision. Once we choose to stop choosing that choice, there’s no turning back. And that can be daunting.

Such choices can be as straight forward as a change in diet or quitting smoking. They have clear guidelines and the first time we make them, we know what we’re getting into — resisting sugar or carbs, or never lighting up again.

Or they can get really complicated because we’re not sure what we’re getting into when we make them the first time. There are no clear guidelines and we don’t know what to expect.

Relationships are like this because they involve other people. We’re never quite sure what we’re going to be up against. Even though we’re choosing to choose to stay committed, we never know what the other person might do and we don’t know what we’ll be tempted by along the way.

But when we understand the kind of choice we’re facing, we make better decisions. We can anticipate the consequences of our actions and what the decision entails. We can understand just what we’re getting ourselves into — and that includes putting off the decision or foregoing it altogether.

3 thoughts on “The Choices We Make

  1. It’s always the little decisions we have to keep making over and over that are the toughest. I fully agree. In relationships it the same deal; decisions made over and over can turn into great friendships, relationships and marriages. Yet those can all be ended with one big decision. Your post reminds me that the small, continuous decisions are more often than not the most important ones.

  2. A friend of mine is perfect in “putting off the decision”. Sometimes he is proud of deciding “not to decide” and thinks he has made some great progress. In the end he always goes the path of “least desicion” that often is decided by others. So he ends up being a passenger in his own life.
    Thinking about him often helps me get to a decision, because i dont want to have such a pathetic situation.

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