Monday, August 16, 2010

Decisions; They Are All Yours

It should come as no surprise that the decisions we make are ours to live-down long after the dust settles and the army of folks who weighed-in on your decisions, are gone. As I look back on the many choices I’ve made, I can say without a doubt that each of them has had a lasting effect – sometimes a lifetime effect. As I look around I’m amazed at how easily folks make life-long decisions on a whim. Buying a home, having a baby or getting married are all decisions that can be made at the drop of a hat, but are likely to be with you a lifetime. Alas, it is best to consider…

1. Can you handle the financial, emotional and physical aspects of your decision without the help of anyone else? If you need others to realize your dream, you are probably setting yourself up for failure. Your dreams are yours to enjoy and execute. Do not buy a home, entertain a marriage or have a baby, with the thought that someone will help you. Never make a decision counting on the support of others. The likelihood is that some of our dreams involve the support of others, but you will find that your decisions are most important to YOU and no one else.

2. Accept that your decisions don’t require the buy-in of family or friends to be realized. Throughout my life I have made decisions that the majority of people in my circle did not agree with me on. It is at those times that I have been forced to carefully analyze my decisions to insure that even if everyone important to me were to turn their back on me, I would be happy with my decision. Recognize that your decisions may be frowned upon by others.

3. Your family and friends don’t love you any less just because they don’t wish to live YOUR dreams. My decision to live my life as an openly gay man in a committed relationship is not one that is celebrated by all. That said, I don’t believe my family and friends love me any less for it. Accepting that all of your decisions will NOT be accepted by your friends AND that they still love you, can sometimes appear to be a contradictory concept. Learn to take responsibility for your decisions and to NOT blame others for not co-signing everything you want to do with your life.

Your life, your decisions, your dreams are yours and yours alone. No one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to make your decisions – and if they are, call the authorities. Make decisions that you can live with and respect yourself for. Be proud of the decisions you make and others will have an easier time respecting you for them. Most important, make decisions knowing that win or lose, pass or fail, dream or disaster, they are all YOURS to live with.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

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