Who makes your decisions?

Looking back on big decisions you’ve made in the past (where you went to school, what you studied, who you got into relationships with, where you lived, where you worked, etc.), how did you ultimately end up with those particular choices?

Most people will do some psychological acrobatics to shrug off sub-par decisions.  “It’s what made me happy,” or “It seemed like my only option at the time.”  But the reality is that there was usually a friend, or a girlfriend, or a family member that was the true determinant of the situation.  And to prevent a little unhappiness in the present, they made a bad choice that would cause a lot of unhappiness in the future.  The sad thing is that this pattern feeds on itself.  Once you get used to making decisions for your life on other people’s terms, it becomes really hard to stop.

How many people avoid good decisions simply because they don’t want to feel uncomfortable?  How many people go through life hoping to limit the number of times they felt embarrassed?  Do you really want to live with the harsh reality that every big decision you made was weighted against whether other people would judge you or not?

I know I’ve made decisions, big decisions, in the past where I was trying to please someone else or avoid a minor confrontation.  I don’t regret where I ended up; I just regret not embracing the temporary discomfort.  Because when you embrace it once, you start to get used to it.  And when you get used to it, you can do it again.  And again.

Until finally, you’re making decisions based on what you want.


By Charlie Hoehn Tagged

4 comments on “Who makes your decisions?

  1. I find this entry interesting. Are you aware of any references, studies or research that can support this statement “he reality is that there was usually a friend, or a girlfriend, or a family member that was the true determinant of the situation.”

    It is worth looking into. Nice reflection Charlie

  2. Thanks for the kind words, guys.

    @ayman- Not that I know of. I originally had a note in this post, saying how this advice was kind of obvious. I said it’s obvious because this isn’t a phenomena; it’s just a given. Heavily influenced decisions aren’t hard to find — they stare us in the face when we talk to our friends and family. I don’t think you need research to back this up.

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