These 8 choices are difficult to make but you’ll regret it in 10 years if you don’t

I have difficulty making choices, what about you? 

There are some that are easier than others, of course, like choosing a flavor of ice cream or a movie to stream. 

But when it comes to major life decisions, nothing is easy. You come to a crossroads and don’t have a clue which road to take:

There are times when every choice you have seems equally good, or bad, or confusing. 

This is when making the right decision is all the more crucial, so past regrets don’t haunt you further down the road. 

When you’re faced with these tough choices, here’s what to do.

1) Taking a risk to follow your dreams

It’s easy to play it safe. It’s also understandable. 

Humans evolved to avoid danger and stay as safe as possible, with a reliable food supply and shelter. That instinct to seek comfort has stayed with us, but often it can hold us back.

I’m not recommending to just get on a plane and go to a place you’ve never been where you don’t know a soul…

But then again sometimes that is the right move…

When faced with a choice to follow your dreams or stick in your same old job and same old routines, pick the first option.

2) Being true to yourself even if it’s unpopular

Life will hand you all sorts of opportunities to sell out:

Take a job you hate, marry somebody you don’t truly love, join a political party because it’s what people in your demographic do to get a tax break.

But when you prioritize outer popularity over being true to yourself, it’s a form of betrayal. 

The short-term benefits and ease are far outweighed by your long-term disappointment in yourself. 

Is this who I really am? Make sure the answer is a resounding yes. 

3) Prioritizing your own well-being over outer success

This ties into the previous point: 

There will be all sorts of times in life that we’re asked to choose between our own well-being or outer success. 

This is where you have to make a decision:

Do you take the job that’s going to have you working around the clock and answering to people you don’t like, or do you find a different career even if it will take more time and patience?

4) Taking the time to care for your physical and mental health

When you have a choice to keep partying or overworking or take a break, it often seems small:

What’s the big deal about staying up late another night to get the briefs done for tomorrow?

Why worry that you’re a little depressed and feel lonely? These things will pass. Right? 

The problem is that when we make these constant little decisions not to prioritize our mental and physical health, we set ourselves up for big crises later down the road. 

We’ll come to regret those many nights eating fast food, those random strangers we slept with, the depression we didn’t tell anybody about because we were ashamed… 

5) Telling and showing those close to you how much you care about them

This is another thing that happens often in life:

We get extremely busy or wrapped up in our own drama and we forget to tell people we love them and show people we love them through our deeds. 

This leads to such enormous regret down the road, particularly if they’re no longer in our lives or even no longer alive. 

This life is short, and love is what counts in the end. Don’t forget to consciously choose to be caring and show love to those you care about, because one day you may not be able to anymore. 

6) Cultivating relationships over and above material wealth

Making a living is important, and finances absolutely matter (see next point). 

But material wealth is not something that should be prioritized over relationships and personal connections. 

Deep friendship, romantic love and those people who make our lives special aren’t always going to be around. Even friends who you might not have thought of much could leave a big hole when they’re gone. 

Choosing to work and earn money over spending time with people can be a big mistake. 

It’s important to spend time with those who are very special to you, and to put in the time and work to make romantic relationships work if you can. You’ll be glad you cared further down the road.

7) Avoiding heavy spending and impulse purchases 

Money matters, and all those impulse purchases and heavy spending decisions you make eventually add up. 

When you have to decide between a big buy or being cautious, it’s almost always better to be prudent

There’s a time to splurge or to go all-in and buy a house or bet everything on the hand in Vegas. But that time is rare and it should not become a habit. 

Be careful with your money and save it up. 

When you have savings you can help those you love and make a big impact within the system, changing it for the better. 

8) Investing in your education and skill-development 

We all need time to relax and not worry about anything. 

But learning is a wonderful opportunity, and when you get a choice to study or learn a new skill, I highly suggest taking it. 

No investment in your future is wasted, and learning a language or a musical instrument pays off immense dividends in your quality of life for years to come. It can also lead to job opportunities and personal connections as well. 

Invest in yourself most of all. You’re worth it. 

The road not taken

Looking back down the road not taken, it’s customary to wonder “what if?”
But a burning regret and a knowledge that you should have chosen a different path is not a feeling any of us want to have. 

Let’s face it:

Some regrets aren’t in our control and can’t be seen ahead of time, but others can be avoided by following the advice above. 

We can’t control the future, but we can be true to ourselves and ensure the future is one which is meaningful and fulfilling for us.

Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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