Every day we make dozens of decisions and choices. Many of them we make unconsciously. They all have consequences. They have intended consequences and unintended consequences, and we have to live with both.
These smaller choices and decisions prepare us or prevent us from making life’s biggest choices in a way that is life-giving for everyone involved.
For decades researchers have been exploring what people consider to be the biggest decisions of life. From generation to generation there can be some jockeying for top position, but what is on the list is not surprisingly consistent from one generation to another.
Today, these are considered life’s six biggest decisions:
1. Having children 2. Getting married 3. Buying a home
4. Where to go to college and what to study
5. Moving cities
6. Changing career later in life
Others that make the longer list include:
When to retire; whether or not to end a relationship; choosing to spend or save; quitting a job; getting a pet; setting boundaries with toxic family members and friends; standing up for yourself; putting an elderly relative in a care home; and, whether or not to accept a promotion.
These are all important decisions. They can each be difficult in their owns ways. And yet together they paint a picture that is worth reflecting upon. There seems to be something missing. The bigger things. The deeper things. These may be the “what” but where is the “why.”
In many ways, these things, some of them profoundly important, seem to have been reduced to a list of personal preferences. And as a result, decision making seems to have been reduced to an exercise of personal preference selection.
The larger perspective seems to be missing. Who are we? What are we here on earth for? What matters most? What matters least? How is the best way to spend our short lives?
And most of all, who or what are we going to place at the center of our lives? For this alone will determine almost everything else. This alone will drive our decisions, large and small.
So, the best place to start is by asking the question: Who or what is at the center of your life? Career, money, things, self, God, children, spouse, friends, expectations?
If your life isn’t working, change what is at the center of it.
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