A study conducted at Columbia University found that we are consumed by more than 70 decisions a day. The huge number of decisions we have to make every day leads to a phenomenon called decision fatigue, when your brain actually gets tired like a muscle.
Another study conducted at the University of Texas shows that even if our brain is not tired, it is very difficult for us to make the right decisions. When making a decision, instead of referring to the knowledge we have accumulated, our brain focuses on specific detailed memories.
For example, if you are buying a new car and trying to decide whether you should buy leather seats even though you know you can’t afford it, your brain can focus on remembering the wonderful smell and feel of the leather seat in your brother’s sports car when it should be focused on the suffering you will experience paying monthly car payments. Since you don’t have any memories of it yet, it’s hard for your brain to think.
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am the product of my decisions.”
– Stephen Covey
Some decisions are secondary, such as what to eat, which route to go to work, or in what order to solve problems. Others are more difficult, such as choosing between two job offers, moving to a new city for someone you love, or cutting a toxic person out of your life.
Regardless of the scale of the decision, our brain prevents us from maintaining the perspective necessary for making the right choice.
Here are 5 decisions that you may regret all your life. Think before you decide.
1. Make decisions based on other people’s opinions
When you make your decisions based on other people’s opinions, two things usually happen:
You make bad career choices: too many people who studied for a degree they regret, or even spent their lives on a career they regret. Whether you’re looking for parental approval or chasing rewards and prestige for the sake of passion, choosing a bad career is a decision that will live with you forever.
You are not able to defend your morals: when you are too involved in what your boss thinks about you, how much money you think you need for your spouse, or how bad you will look if you fail, you run a high risk of losing your own morals. Your strong desire to make yourself good jeopardizes your ability to stay true to yourself and ultimately feel good about yourself.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of other people’s opinions is to realize that other people’s opinions are just opinions. No matter how big or terrible they are, this is just their opinion. Your true self-esteem comes from within.
2. Too much work
Hard work is a great way to influence the world, learn, grow, feel complete, and sometimes even find happiness. But it becomes a problem when you do it at the expense of the people closest to you. Ironically, we often work hard to make money for people, we care about it without realizing that they value our company more than money.
The key is to find a balance between who you love and what you love.
3. Hide your feelings
As children, we are taught that emotions are dangerous and that they need to be contained and controlled. This usually works at first, but holding back your feelings makes them grow until they erupt. The best thing you can do is open up your feelings. And while it hurts to start, it makes you want to be honest and transparent.
For example, if you feel that you don’t earn enough money at work, set up a meeting with your boss and suggest why you think you are worth more. As a result, they will either agree with you and give you a raise, or they will disagree and tell you what you need to do to become more valuable. On the other hand, if you do nothing and allow your feelings to accumulate, it will interfere with your work and prevent you from achieving your goal.
4. To ignore the friendship
When you get carried away with your weekly routine, it’s easy to lose sight of how important people are to you, especially the ones you need to devote time to. Relationships with old friends are the first thing we lose when we are too busy.
Close friends bring you energy, fresh perspectives, and a sense of belonging in a way that no one else can.
5. Focus on the negative
When your life comes to an end, all the difficulties you have faced suddenly become trivial compared to the good times. This is because you understand that most often suffering is a choice. Unfortunately, most people realize this too late. Although we all inevitably experience pain, how we respond to our pain is completely under our control, as is our ability to experience joy.
Being able to laugh, smile, and be happy (especially when under stress) is sometimes a challenge, but it’s worth every ounce of effort.
Some decisions have consequences that can last a lifetime. Most of these decisions are made on a daily basis, and they require focus and perspective so that they don’t haunt you.