How Every Single Decision Affects Your Future 532


Who you are today is a result of all the decisions you’ve taken in your life. That includes everything you’ve done, thought and said in the last few days.

So is the way your life looks like, the relationships you have and whether you’re happy or not.

The thing is that the little decisions that eventually lead to actions, are what defines how your life will look like some day. So with everything you do, you’re creating your future.

Let’s assume that you’re in a bad shape and not satisfied with the body you have.

If you analyze the things you’ve been doing for the last few weeks, you’ll realize that this is the only possible outcome.
You will remember each cheat meal, every time you missed a workout and chose to stay in front of the TV instead of going to the gym, the many times you avoided walking or basically every form of being active and chose driving, public transport, or just didn’t go anywhere. Also the nights you went to bed late, the mornings you skipped breakfast, the midnight snacks, and so on.

Thinking about each of this separately may look like nothing serious to you. But combining them and seeing the whole picture opens your eyes.

And what you need to do is change your habits and lifestyle in general.

That applies to every aspect of your life. To many of mine too. When I summarize my decisions in one area, the current situation seems absolutely expected.

Here are a few ways to take more deliberate decisions:

Stop and be aware.

We live on autopilot most of the time and do things unconsciously.

So before you do anything, try to stop for a few seconds, to look around, understand what’s going on and think about it. That will make you mindful of what you’re about to do.

Examine the pros and cons.

That can take just a minute or two, but can become a solid reason not to do what you were going to.

So just tell yourself the good and bad (focus on these) sides of the situation.

Think about your future self.

Will the future you be happy with the choice you’re about to make?

When it comes down to eating junk food, for instance, it won’t be, for sure. You may feel the instant satisfaction this kind of food brings, but you’re making future you fat and in a bad shape.

See the bigger picture.

You may make this choice now, okay. But if you’re realistic, it won’t be just one time (even if you’re so sure now).
So consider the long-term outcome of a few decisions like that. Or doing it for years. Or daily.

Try to imagine how you’re going to feel about it after some time. Maybe your unhealthy, spending, egoistic or career choices will make your future life full of diseases, jobs you don’t like, money issues, no meaningful relationships.
Is that how you want to spend your life? Are these your big goals?

I guess not.

So the only way to change that negative outcome is to come back to the present moment, be fully mindful of it, and make good decisions.

And there are ways to stay positive and feel the benefits of these choices, even though you’re not doing what you currently want to:

  • focus on what you already have;
  • be grateful, appreciate it;
  • know you’re doing something about your future today;
  • imagine how proud you’ll be some time from now;
  • you’re fighting your inner demons;
  • every time you make a decision and consider your future self, you’re building character and becoming a responsible person;
  • your willpower increases;
  • you’re a role model for others.

Have you made small choices like that which affect your future recently? How do you feel after that?

See also:

Savor Discipline: Merge the Interests of Your Future & Present Selves
Make kick-ass decisions
Think long term to make good decisions
Harness Your Mind’s “Future Self” Bias to Make Better Decisions

Image by MCC Current @Flickr

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7 Quick Tips on How to Be More Successful in Everyday Life 5

If Life Were a Game, What Would Your Score Be? [FREE 10 Minute Assessment]

Everyone dreams about being successful. But what is success?

For you, it could be building a company, getting promoted at work, generating wealth, or more humble ambitions, such as being the best parent or partner. While success looks different to each person, we all have an innate desire to achieve.

No matter how you define success as an individual, here are some habits you can adopt to become more successful in everyday life.

1. Be Focused.

There are distractions all around us, from social media and smartphones to friends and family. While everyone needs some ‘me time,’ to be successful, you also need focus. As such, cut out distractions and set aside time to work towards your goal.

Remember: There is always something productive you can do.

2. Aim to Learn.

It can be easy to get hung up results but being successful is about more than the outcome. The key to being truly successful is about learning. This allows you to grow and adapt, changing your approach and leading to improvements. As such, make learning a goal. This will also help to keep you motivated, too.

3. Be Prepared.

Being prepared is essential to increase the chance of success. This can be applied to almost any situation. Whether you are expecting your first baby, have an upcoming exam or interview, or are considering CFD trading, all require research and preparation.

4. Stop the Excuses.

When something goes wrong, it can be easy to dig your head in the sand, but this is not a habit of a successful person. Instead, take responsibility. Stop your excuses, work on your weaknesses and make improvements. The onus is on you to be successful so step up, set challenges and drive yourself forward.

5. Be Happy.

You may be focussed on earning more money, or you may have a goal to buy a flash car. But if you’re working a job you cannot stand, putting in too many hours and sacrificing time with the ones you love, you could quickly start to feel miserable.

Increase your happiness and make it a marker of your success, even if it takes longer to achieve your goals.

6. Feel Grateful.

Success is often less about material possessions or goals than it is about changing our perceptions.

This is why it is important to start recognizing the good things around you. Recognise and feel grateful for what you already have and you will soon feel very successful indeed.

7. Start Failing.

This may seem counterintuitive, but failure is a big part of success. It helps to highlight the things we do not want and essentially provides clarity. A little failure never hurt anyone. After all, no one has ever become successful without first experiencing failure.