Let’s Talk About It – Making your own decisions

With the passage of time, I have learnt that growing up and being an adult is all about making decisions. It is clear that all stages of life involve decision-making to some degree unless you are a child – then you cannot decide for yourself. As we become more aware of ourselves, we get to the stage where we have to start choosing friends and lifestyles. Then we find out that the people we allow into our lives influence the way we think and act. Some of the influences we pick up along the way may not be good for us and we realise the importance of choosing carefully who we associate with. We virtually become the people around us and think like they do because they affect our decision-making. It is important, therefore, to be careful who we associate with or we may unintentionally end up making the wrong decisions. Later on, we realise that the decisions we make when we are young, impact on who we become as adults. As a new adult, I have come to realise that adulthood is entirely based on making decisions. Every adult is constantly having to decide and, at times, we get confused by all the pressure we are facing. That is when we end up making uninformed decisions. With the circumstances and people that challenge and influence us daily, we have to apply knowledge and wisdom. Decision-making can be a dilemma if we are not really informed. Our duty as adults is to gather as much knowledge as we can to be able to make informed decisions. Many people do not actually live their own lives because they do not use their own minds – they make decisions based on other people’s opinions. The fact is, if you cannot think for yourself, someone else will do it for you. Many people prefer to do things because other people are doing them and, therefore, most of their decisions are sourced from outside influences. The danger is that they end up doing what they do not actually want to do. Peer pressure is a perfect example of this. We make decisions because we are pressurised by family, a partner, friends or even society at large. This brings me to the realisation  that we have to be very brave if we want to be ourselves and that it takes courage to live in this world. As adults, we need to get to the point where we are in charge of our own lives. We can only say we are living our own lives if we are making our own decisions and not trying to please someone else. I believe that doing what we love is a stepping stone towards our happiness. If we do things just to please others, we will later realise that we are miserable because we are not living our true life – the one we actually want to live. The beauty of making our own decisions is that we get to use our own minds and live our own lives. And, if anything goes wrong, we only have ourselves to blame.

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