Personal Decisions…Better Endings?


Imagine how might your own or someone you are close to’s life be significantly changed if some on-the-spot (or even well deliberated) personal decision were altered?  We’ve all heard stories about how one’s parents would never have met were it not for some split second decision to walk into a particular coffee shop or to take a particular bus on a particular day.  The movie Serendipity explores this premise as a romantic comedy where, after a couple does accidentally meet, they spend most of the rest of the movie trying to find each other again.

What if you had accepted some job you were offered rather than the one you took instead? Or if you had chosen to attend a different college or move to a different town when you had the opportunity? Some of our life-altering decisions were made by others, such as by our parents while we were young. I am more interested for our weekly topic to explore those decisions you made yourself.  How might things have turned out differently?  Now, of course, it could very well be that the decision you made resulted in the ‘better ending’ pathway that has brought you to where you are, quite happily, today. Or, if as they say, ‘hindsight is 20/20’, maybe altering some decision might have created a very different set of outcomes, maybe even with a ‘better ending’ scenario possible along a path you did not choose.

This topic of Better Endings in light of Personal Decisions is not meant to be merely a futile exercise in hindsight or a matter of second guessing yourself. Certainly we all usually aim to make the most we can out of any decision we have committed ourselves to, and it is important to consider all we have gained and learned from any decision on which we have followed through.  The value of exploring–through journaling, writing an autobiographical memoir, contemplating, or just sharing with a friend about–our earlier life decisions, is to remind ourselves of how we have approached major or minor transition points in our lives. This way, when a new opportunity arises or when we envision a new opportunity, perhaps we can act with a bit more mindfulness or clarity of intention while considering which path to take. Reminding ourselves of how our decisions have empowered us to establish life-changing new directions shows us how much flexibility and awareness we are capable of as we navigate our life choices. So, have fun with this one!