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Published on December 16, 2020

5 Ways to Make Good Choices That Align With Your Life’s Goals

5 Ways to Make Good Choices That Align With Your Life’s Goals

Choice is one of our greatest gifts, as it goes hand in hand with freedom, and we will do almost anything to protect it. The right to choose what we believe, what we say, and how we live is integral to our very being. Therefore, learning to make good choices is key to learning how to live a good life.

Being the “intelligent” species that we are, our learned experiences should continually enhance our ability to make good choices as time passes, so why isn’t it a given?

Does a three year old think about good or bad choices? Every choice is the right one when life is just one big adventure of discovery and excitement. It’s only as we begin to discern, judge, and regret that the importance of making good choices that align with our goals becomes apparent.

There are times when we might make a choice that seems perfectly logical, but a curve ball gets in the way. That’s life, things happen, but what about those times when we choose the same thing time and again expecting the result to be different? Surely it would be crazy to knowingly make bad choices—wouldn’t it?

Here are five ways that will help you to make good choices that align with your life’s goals.

1. Remain Faithful to Your Core Values

Your core values form the glue that binds your choices and your life’s goals together.

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To achieve fulfilment it is essential to remain faithful to your values. This will ensure that you make good choices that align with your life’s goals. If you compromise in this area, you will reap what you sow—maybe not immediately, perhaps not even in the short term—but eventually the conflict of values will catch up with you and bite you where it hurts.

You may think that you can compromise and still stay true to yourself, but there will always be a little piece of you that is out of sync. That irritant will have a tendency to grow like a pearl in an oyster shell, but the final outcome won’t be so pretty.

You may justify what you are doing or allowing to happen—be that at work or in your home life—but you will not be fulfilled. However much you convince yourself that the end justifies the means, nagging doubts will affect your peace of mind. This is a reaction to sacrificing your values for the sake of expediency.

For example, you may be on a career path that is progressing nicely, but your line manager has significantly different values in a critical area of the business. Do you go along with them indefinitely in spite of the conflict? Do you make a stand and risk your career? Or do you consciously decide to play ball in the short term as part of your overall life’s goals?

The latter may work as a temporary fix, but only if you are aware of the compromise you are making for the sake of the big picture. If not, it will lead to a hidden grievance since your mind is very adept at burying inconvenient truths for the sake of goals to which you have committed, making it difficult to make good choices.

2. Make Conscious Choices

Spontaneity has its place, but there is a fine line between impulsion and compulsion. Being in the moment is one thing, but it’s only too easy to mistake an intuitive response for a habitual reaction based on years of mental reflexes or even addictions.

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Have you ever woken up thinking “Why on earth did I do that?” So let’s go there: Why? Felt like a good idea at the time? Couldn’t help myself? I deserved a reward for all my sacrifices, my hard work, doing stuff I don’t like doing?

There’s “knowing” what’s best for ourselves, and then there’s “doing” it—or not doing it.

Consciousness is a gift permanently available to you should you choose to use it. You might perceive it as restrictive or boring, but in reality it is liberating, as well as working in your own best interests. Consciousness allows another perspective in your thinking as an alternative to the hard-wired version that has developed over the years[1].

Self-reflection will open the door to questions such as:

  • What is the emotional driver for this potential choice?
  • Is it the “right thing” to do? For whose benefit?
  • Am I giving or taking? Am I giving to take?
  • Will it bring me joy? If so, for how long?
  • What are the longer term implications?
  • Does it align with my life’s goals and my core values?
  • Is it a means to an end or an end in itself?

Intuition and inspiration are the life-blood of human creativity. Consciousness, unlike limiting and negative beliefs, lets your ideas flow whilst encouraging awareness. That awareness will help you make good choices and better manage the outcomes.

3. Listen to Your Gut

Since the Age of Enlightenment, mankind has worshipped at the altar of intellectual philosophy. However, we are still animals and, as such, inextricably connected with our organs, which are linked to our emotions and, therefore, to our choices.

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Some people resonate more closely with their gut, others with their heart. Make the most of these as opposed to just relying on the mind.

Have you ever, with hindsight, looked back on an event or a decision and thought, “I knew that was the wrong choice,” but you did it anyway, “against my better judgement”? If you want to make good choices, you need to improve your judgement, but rather than just logically weighing pros and cons; facts and figures; precedents and mathematical odds; listen to your body.

Logic is really effective for reasoning. The trouble is, human beings aren’t logical. You have no control over how another human being will react, but you do have within your DNA the capacity to draw on your primeval senses[2]. So even if all of the facts point clearly to one choice, remember to pay heed to your sixth sense, as well.

The key to decision making is balance. Experience will help you learn how best to make use of the feelings in your body. Don’t waste this natural resource.

4. See Choice as an Experiment

Procrastination can be a debilitating experience to the extent that some people describe it as paralyzing. “Too many choices” is a typical complaint or an excuse for delaying a decision, whereas in reality, to have the freedom to make choices is something we ought to be grateful for[3].

Choices fall into several categories, from relatively trivial to life-changing. However, even what may look like a really important choice with significant repercussions is often reversible. If you are inspired to make a change in your life, then rather than perceiving the process as stressful or the cause of anxiety, see it as an experiment.

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“Everything of which you have been afraid was based on nothing.” —A Course in Miracles

Try it out; what’s the worst thing that could happen? If it doesn’t work out, you will at least now know that it’s not for you. As Thomas Edison allegedly said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”

5. Love Yourself

Committing to make better choices is a fundamental step towards a happier, more joyful, and fulfilled life. Accepting the fact that you create your own reality, taking responsibility for where you are, and owning your role in how you got here is a part of growing up[4].

The next step is easy—provided that you have the clarity of thought and the open-mindedness to embrace it. You get to choose. No one else, just you. And guess what? You are the one who knows best what you need.

Never mind what your family, your peers, your partner, therapist, or coach think; you are the expert when it comes to running your life. There’s just one extra ingredient required: to love yourself enough to do the right thing for you.

Final Thoughts

Connecting with your truth, staying conscious, trusting your instincts, relishing the wealth of possibilities before you, and valuing yourself makes decision making fun rather than a chore. Follow these tips and watch your confidence grow as you reap the results of making good choices based on sound principles.

More on How to Make Good Choices

Featured photo credit: Jose Escobar via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It)
[2] Psychology Today: Are Humans Rational?
[3] Association for Psychological Science: Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination
[4] Huff Post: The Truth Behind ‘You Create Your Own Reality

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Gray Hughes

Life coach (using the motivational 3 c's Model) and writer.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

7 Reasons to Dare to Dream Big

7 Reasons to Dare to Dream Big

When you dare to dream big, you are taking an active role in your life. You are being present and allowing yourself to experience things as they happen. As you make a conscious effort to set goals and achieve them, you are going to have a richer life experience. In this article, we discuss 7 reasons to dream big.

1. Live a Life of No Regrets

There are plenty of experiences in life that don’t come around very often. Halley’s Comet, for instance, comes around once every 75 years. As a result, most people make a serious effort to experience this once in a lifetime event. When you understand something is special, you usually try to make it a point to experience it.

Your life and the experiences you accumulate are no less valuable. Yet, there are people who are not experiencing this very special opportunity every day.

There is little worse than coming to the end of your life and realizing you never lived your fullest life. By acknowledging that your life is as special of an event as an eclipse or Halley’s Comet, you will live your life to the fullest. When you dare to dream big, you are breaking your limits and challenging the status quo.

2. Inspire Others

Think about the stories that motivate you to take action. These are usually stories of people who overcame the odds and achieved something great. It is why so many people love to watch movies; you are living vicariously through the experiences of the hero. Their willingness to do the right thing in the bleakest of times is the stuff legends are made of.

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Heroes exist in real life, too. Just like in the movies, they are the people who show courage in the face of danger and dare to dream in the face of adversity. They are also willing to put the needs of others above their own. You could inspire the next generation by your contribution if you dare to dream big.

3. Receive a Greater Reward

Those who are willing to take risks in life end up receiving the lion’s share of the reward. Think about the difference between someone who opens their own law firm versus someone who chooses to be a public defender. They are essentially doing the same work, but the person who is a public defender is not taking any risk. They are going to receive a consistent paycheck every week, regardless of the amount of work they perform.

Someone who owns their own law firm has the ability to earn an unlimited amount of income. However, they also have the ability to earn nothing.

Those who dare to dream big understand that there is a risk associated with their decisions. Most people are not willing to take on the risk associated with chasing their dreams because do not want to be put in a position where they can lose everything. They would rather live a life short of their true potential in order to avoid possible failure…but where’s the fun in that?

4. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is such a wonderful place. You get into a little groove and things seem to be coming along naturally.

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However, while your comfort zone can feel great, it is also the place where your big dreams go to die. For someone to dare to dream big, they know they must push themselves beyond their current limits. A Yale study says that stability shuts off the switch to your brain. In other words, when you remain in your comfort zone, your brain stops learning.[1]

When you dare to dream big, you are encouraging your brain to imagine ways to accomplish your goal. There is a level of uncertainty that causes you to fear leaving your comfort zone. You are worried about your ability to succeed and whether the journey is worth traveling.

You may think, “What if I invest a year into this relationship and find out this person is not right for me?” Or what if you accept that new position, but you don’t like your new boss? All of these thoughts are signs that you are about to leave your comfort zone. Instead of running away from these experiences, try to lean into them.

5. Living Small Doesn’t Help Anyone

The sad truth is that plenty of people will not like you simply because you are successful. Success will test your relationships with your friends and family. You will feel tempted to limit yourself and not pursue your big dreams.

Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you cannot dare to dream big because the people you are currently around dream small. Living small only hinders your growth and theirs[2]. At least by pursuing your dreams, your friends and family may live through your experiences. As a result, you may be the catalyst they need to pursue their own.

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In addition, you never know what amazing things you will accomplish if you dare to dream big. Imagine going to medical school and creating the cure for cancer. Or making advancements in technology and changing the human experience for decades to come. You need to find your motivation and drive in life.

If everyone lived small, there would be no innovation, advancement, or growth. Does that sound like a world you want to be a part of?

6. Conquer Fear

There are two choices in life. You are either living a life of fear or a life of dreams. When you dare to dream big, you are undoubtedly living a life based on your dreams. Your dreams are found in that little voice inside of you that tells you all the amazing things you can do to change the world.

The problem most people face is they have another voice in their head telling them all the reasons they cannot live their dream life.[3] This voice is constantly reminding you of all of your mistakes and all of the reasons success is not possible.

Fear is a powerful tool you can utilize to help you take action. Instead of being afraid of how someone is going to react, be afraid of letting yourself down. Stop thinking about the worst thing that can happen for once and start thinking about the best things that can happen.

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How would your life be different if you dared to dream big? In fact, how would the life of those you love be different because of your willingness to pursue your dreams? Allow these answers to fuel you in your time of fear and self-doubt. You are counting on you, but if that is not enough, those you love are counting on you, too.

7. Write Your Own Story

Have you ever gotten lost in a good book? Books tend to be better than most movies’ because books don’t have a budget. Movies are bound by the laws of science and technology. These laws don’t exist when you write a book. There is no discussion around how much those explosions cost or whether you can make something look real.

Indeed, books allow the author and the reader to both use their imagination. The author is putting their imagination on each page, and the reader uses their imagination to interpret the story. Your life is like being lost in a good book. Every day you wake up, you are writing another chapter. No one knows how the story is going to end, but how would you like it end? Do you want to be victorious because you were willing to dare to dream big, or do you want people to say you left with untapped potential?

Final Thoughts

Your life is the best gift the universe can give you, so don’t waste it. Be willing to dare to dream big and allow yourself to make mistakes. Things are not always going to go your way, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find a way overcome the challenges you face. Continue to strive to be a little better each day, and before you know it, you will be everything you thought you could be and more.

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Featured photo credit: Jeremy Perkins via unsplash.com

Reference

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