No one knows how to navigate life without making mistakes. In fact, in order to figure out what works best for you, you have to make a lot of mistakes first. Each wrong turn teaches you a lesson, and through this, you start to make better decisions.
Whenever you feel stuck or don’t know which decision is better, consider these forks on the road:
Your passion or your career
Often, adults are faced with this choice as they advance their career. It starts to feel like there is no way they could be working with a passion when they want to climb the ladder. If that feels familiar to you, ask yourself if you can monetize your passion and if not, are you building your career to free up more time so that you can then have room to pursue a passion project? Both options can work for you, but if you’re simply thinking about a binary decision where you have to choose either your passion or your career, you will always feel like you lost something. By freeing up time to pursue your passions even as you advance in your career, or finding ways to monetize your passion, you are melding the two together. Think outside the box, so to speak.
Your future or your present
Falling into the mindset that you will deal with the difficult things tomorrow could be harming your present self. This can be true about every aspect of your life. If you spend recklessly now, you will suffer tomorrow if an emergency situation comes up. If you don’t sleep well now, you will have depleted energy tomorrow and feel unproductive. If you don’t care for yourself by applying mineral sunscreen today, your skin will suffer the damage in a few years. Even the littlest action today can be your way of caring for your future self.
Your family or your friends
When you have stressful times at work, you long for an escape–one that does not consider tomorrow and just lives for today. Such an escape might also be expensive. If you have a family to fend for, you’ll want to reassess whether going out with your friends for a night to unwind will affect your family budget in the long run. If it won’t, then go ahead and have fun. If it will, consider other ways to relax. How about a long bath or a call with your closest friends? What if you could invite them over for dinner and drinks in the house? This will be less costly, and you will not have to worry about hiring a babysitter for the kids because you are home.
Often, the problem is that it’s hard to wait. You want to do something right now, because the world has told you everything should be done quickly and instantaneously or else it’s not the latest trend. But this might also mean you’re not thinking ahead or planning for the future. So slow down, think back, and reprioritize.