I guess if you have an original take on life, or something about you is original, you don’t have to study people who came before you. You don’t have to mimic anybody. You just have a gut feeling inside, an instinct that tells you what’s right for you, and you can’t do it in any other way. 

Quote by Barbara Streisand

Every single day, people make choices based on certain factors. In many cases, I may not even fully realize that I am making choices based on one or more factors.

People like to think that they are making decisions based solely on personal freedom but the truth of the matter is that more often than not, decisions are being made for a lot of underlying reasons.

That is why it is so important to ask oneself why you are really making a certain decision before you actually do it.


Peer Pressure

It starts happening when you are still in grade school and it happens for the rest of your life. Peer pressure can be one of the most difficult things to set yourself apart from because the last thing you want to do is single yourself out. This is especially true when the people who are pressuring you to do something are individuals that you respect and want to please. It is equally difficult when you are afraid of being looked down upon or made fun of because you don’t do what others want you to do.


Mass Media

If you think that your decisions are not influenced by media on television, in magazines, and online, think again. People are constantly told that they should have a lot of money, live in big houses and drive more than one automobile, and that they should be a certain size and body shape. All you have to do is look around to see that many people in society are practically killing themselves trying to do exactly those things.

It really comes down to the fear of not being accepted if you don’t have as much in the way of material possessions as the person next to you or if you don’t look as good as they do. Things like this shouldn’t come into play when making a decision for yourself, but it happens all the time.


Money

This is something that was already touched on a little bit in the point above, but it is worth having a section all its own. People should not really make decisions based on financial satisfaction alone, but it is an unfortunate truth that whether you like it or not, money makes the world go round and round. Hence there are a certain number of decisions that have to be made for financial reasons alone.

The problems start when you start making decisions purely for the sake of getting more money and everything else is discarded. This can cause you to feel empty and alone very quickly.


The Need To Impress/Outperform Others

Even the most humble of individuals have some type of drive deep inside them that causes them to want to impress someone that is close to them. The more competitive you are, the more it is going to bother you if someone else gets that job that you really wanted or they find financial success more quickly than you.

Photo found at Life-Productions.org

Sometimes, that need to impress others or to outperform someone else becomes all-encompassing and when it does, it stops being a healthy drive and it starts to consume everything that is good in your life.


Expectations

There are few things worse than having your own freedom to make choices for yourself taken away because you are trying so hard to live up to the expectations of others, you never give yourself the chance to see what it is that you really want out of life.

Most people do try to live up to expectations, but like anything else, it should only be done in moderation. If you start to let it eat away at you, you might find yourself making decisions that you don’t even want for your own life because you are trying so hard to please someone else.


Being Well-Respected

Sometimes, a person has goals that are rather lofty and far-reaching, mainly because they want to succeed at whatever they have chosen to do in life and they want to be well-respected. There is certainly nothing wrong with this. The most important thing to remember is not to lose sight of why you initially chose to do something in the first place. Having an inner drive is a great thing, but it is important to keep yourself grounded as well.


Refusing To Rest On Your Laurels

Perhaps you are one of those individuals that is so driven you refuse to rest on your past successes. Again, this can be a very positive thing as long as you don’t let yourself get carried away with it. It is always good to push and learn new things as opposed to choosing to stay where it is safe so you don’t have to risk anything. However…

…there is also no reason to give up something that makes you perfectly happy just for the sake of pushing yourself.

There has to be something more personal to the situation or it is virtually destined to lead to failure.


Caught Up in the “World-wind”

When adulthood comes into place and everybody else is expecting you to perform your responsibilities, it is then your decisions can be swayed so easily. You get suckered with your 9–5 day job, even work late at nights or holidays, you can’t even make the right decision between your work and your kids. We know nobody wants that, but it’s a matter of paying the bills and getting the food in the table or quit the job and see your family suffering.

While most of the time this comes like a valid excuse, it is still not. One can start saving for business capital or do something he or she is good at and make money out of it. It may take a few years to achieve this, but at least you have something to aim for compared to visualizing your life the same job until you’re on your 50s.


Situation in Life

Similar to above’s point, one must not make a decision due to poverty, health condition, business bankruptcy, or whatever status of life you are in. As Stephen King says, “Life is like a wheel.” You may be at the worst situation in your life, but believe me, it’s not going to be like that forever. Sooner or later, it always comes around and the sun will shine. The key here is to keep dreaming and never give up hoping. I’ve heard enough stories and known a lot of people, who, instead of ending their life, they persevere and emerge like a newly-born phoenix, even walking past through their successes.


Afraid to make Mistakes

The uncertainties of life surely make one fret and worry, but in all honesty, that’s what makes life more interesting. There are so many factors that affect the outcome of a decision, which is why a lot of people are even scared to make a decision.

Naturally, people think that if you make the mistakes, it will lead you to an irrevocable consequence and others may view this as weakness. However, having this kind of fear can be a good thing if it is moderated with rational thinking. Such fear can make you a better decision-maker and helps you to improve your performance, enabling you to achieve great things in life.

Not making a decision is still a decision, and you will still going to receive the consequence of not making a decision, so why not risk a little. Who knows, your mistakes can actually open up an opportunity or will lead you to something bigger than what you have imagined.


Now that you understand how different things influence you, you can start to ask yourself whether or not you are making a decision because that is what you really want to do, or you are allowing yourself to be influenced by some outside circumstance. As long as you choose to do something for the right reasons, you can have a reasonable expectation of succeeding and more importantly, being happy in the process.

Frustrated Musician. Ambitious Writer. Poet at Heart. An internet marketer who suddenly finds interest in reading fiction books and raising a dobermann. Visit Junie at PencilPeril.com.
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Frustrated Musician. Ambitious Writer. Poet at Heart. An internet marketer who suddenly finds interest in reading fiction books and raising a dobermann. Visit Junie at PencilPeril.com.

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