You’re going to make a decision today, like every single day of your life.
Some decisions are easy to make: what to eat, what to wear, where to go for the weekend.
A few decisions are tougher to consider: should I accept that job offer? Is it time to quit my job? Should I finally ask the person I love to marry me? Should we break up?
(Still, there are harder ones: will I nuke North Korea today? Should I kill all the drug addicts? To what length will I lie to preserve the peace? Should I believe that free will is an illusion and resign to the inevitability of circumstances?
But those are other stories.)
A lot of times, we confuse the easy ones with the tough ones.
Many times, we think we can go back and right the wrongs we have made.
Pivot, so to speak.
Of course, the easy ones are the ones you can change: you can decide to fix your clothes, or go to another restaurant. You can take a road trip elsewhere.
The hard ones though—therein lies the rub.
Here’s the thing: for the hard choices in life, there is no trial period. There is no beta test. There is no sandbox.
What there is, or there are rather, are consequences.
You choose a path, then say goodbye to the other paths, afterwards realizing that it had made all the difference. Maybe you will end up regretting it (like the man in that oft-quoted and much-misunderstood poem by Frost.)
Perhaps in retrospect you will think about what the effects of those decisions are, and whether you have made the correct one.
When you consider the many choices that lay ahead, the opportunity cost becomes greater should you decide to pick a single one. With the plethora of choices that we face, it becomes harder and harder to choose (even making us unhappy along the way.)
But even not making a choice becomes a loss, in itself: the time you spend not choosing is time you cannot regain.
And so we will all make choices.
Perhaps the challenge is knowing to pause and consider everything properly. Often, we force ourselves into decisions that should not be taken lightly, if only because we prefer novelty over boredom—even if the change turns out for the worse.
Still, what one should bear in mind is that, there are repercussions to one’s brashness, with regret waiting just somewhere around the corner.
(It isn’t for nothing that the world's literature is filled with a lot of it: from Hebrew mythology to Sophocles, as well as Doestoevsky and even Benitez-Marquez...the list goes on.)
It is true: fools do rush in.
HELLO, MY NAME IS EVAN TAN.
I'm a writer and communications professional based in Manila, Philippines. Outside of my regular job, I like to travel, work out, volunteer, watch movies and plays, go to art galleries/ fairs and museums, read books, and eat vegetarian food.
More about me here.