Every decision that you make helps shape your life, but some are more pivotal than others. For example, choosing a donut for breakfast instead of fruit is not going to have the same impact as starting an internet or a ‘bricks and mortar’ business over a job.
The decisions you make today might affect your life immediately, it might be a week away or even a decade from now. It might be a ripple effect or it could be cumulative. With that in mind, let's discuss six of the most pivotal life decisions you will make.
You might be surprised that this is the number one decision, but it's one you make early on. At least, it should be. How much of your paycheck is auto paid into your retirement fund? The majority of people delay this for far too long which is why the majority of people are not prepared for retirement.
Unless you want to work a part-time job in your 70s because you have to, then you should look at your budget and up the ante. If the world was perfect, you would dedicate 25% of your monthly salary to your retirement fund, but as we all know that isn't always possible. Whatever your number is, you need to set up an automatic payment so you never see it. It's a lot easier to cope when it never lands in your main account.
Now be careful here and distinguish between need and want. You may know many elderly men and women who are working and running businesses well into their eighties, not because they need to but because they want to. Such activities keep them engaged in their community whether that be where they live or virtually where they don’t.
This is two-fold because the first pivotal career decision you make is what career to embark on. This generally starts with college and selecting your major, entering a trade school, or skipping continued education altogether and starting a business. Regardless of the direction you take, you have to decide what you want to do with your life.
The second pivotal career decision you make is when you realize you got it wrong the first time and have to decide how to change it. Maybe you want to start over entirely and return to school. Perhaps you want to chase another position in a different company or change industries. Or, maybe you want to start a business, virtual or otherwise.
Whatever it is, this is perhaps an even more challenging situation than the first because by this point in your life you have bills, financial expectations, and responsibilities that make everything feel impossible, but nothing is impossible. You just need to clarify where you want to go and how to get there.
Whenever you are making a life decision of this nature, consider hiring a coach to help you work through your mind confusion and get on the right path.
Where you live is also a pivotal decision. Do you move out of state to the big city where you have more career options? Do you stay closer to your family even though your room for growth will be limited? Those are big factors to consider and even if you do choose the big city, will you be able to afford the cost of living there? Once you know the location you have to decide whether to buy or rent. It's not always a choice you get to make, many people are forced into renting especially in areas where housing costs are rising.
Marriage is a big decision. If it doesn't work out you can divorce but that can be complicated for finances, children, extended families as well as the personal emotions caught up in the process. Regardless of the outcome, if you choose to marry and who you choose to marry will have a massive impact on your life.
Your decision to have a family or to not have a family is also something that will heavily impact your life. Adding children to the mix is perhaps one of the biggest life-changing events you can experience. The thing is, you won't really know whether it's the right decision for you until you're in it.
There is no perfect time to have a family because if you wait for the perfect time, it will never come. When/If you choose to embark on the journey of parenthood, it will impact how you spend your time, your career, your vacation plans, and literally every aspect of your life.
6. The Good
There is one more life changing decision that people don't often talk about and may be more important than any of the previous five - that decision is one of commitment to a way of life that flows from deep within - a following of the Divine Spirit. A Spirit that challenges us, if we but listen deeply, to move in the direction of doing 'good' for others without malice. It is a challenge borne out of love, patience, forgiveness and understanding. The Spirit waits for us to move toward the 'good' and if the decisions we make don't move us in that direction we need to ask ourselves whether the decision is right for us.
These are six of the biggest decisions in life you will make, but each leads to more decisions as we journey through life. Choose wisely and when you are faced with one of them don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. This will not be a weakness on your part, but a strength because it will show that you want to make the right choice and mitigate against false hope and potential disappointments.
Thanks for reading,
Stay safe, keep well and continue becoming the best version of yourself.