Musings on Clarity of Path and Comfort with Consequences

Why does it take some people longer (much longer in many cases) to figure out what it is they want to do with their lives than others?  I’ve known people who from high school on knew exactly what they wanted to be and that is no what they are doing with their lives.  Sometimes I envy that youthful clarity.  Of course, I’ve also known people who were going to college to be one thing and found a completely different path once they got there.  However, those people had life clarity at a young age that somehow eluded me.

Here is the thing; I would not change the path I took.  If it were not for that path I would not be where I am today.  That may not be the greatest place, but it is where I am.  Even if I had stayed on one of the two or three paths I’ve had in my life who is to say I would not still be right where I am right now.  Maybe I would be a little worse; maybe I would be a little better.  However, I would not have had some of the experiences I’ve had nor would I have some of the friends I have made along the way.

A person cannot predict nor can they control outcomes.  A person can only control their actions.  A person also has to become comfortable with the idea of being comfortable with the consequences of their decisions.  During the course of my day at work, I encounter people who are not comfortable with making decisions, even the smallest of decisions.  They don’t want the responsibility of the consequences.  They ask me to tell them what they should choose and I artfully refuse.  Their decisions and the consequences thereof are not my responsibility.

Maybe because I’ve been on my own so long and maybe because during that time I’ve failed and managed to survive, I’ve become more comfortable with accepting the consequences of my decisions.  I am not perfect at it in any way, but even when I am trying to avoid a decision I know that is what I’m doing and eventually just dive right in anyway.  What is the worst that can happen?  Most of us over the course of our lives make very few decisions that could result in us or someone else getting hurt.  If you decide to apply for another job or ask a person out (the two biggest decisions most of us ever have) the worse that can happen is someone says, “No.”

I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made.  I can live with the consequences of my actions.  I do regret the decisions not made and the actions not taken.  Maybe clarity of path is being comfortable with making the decisions and accepting the consequences of those decisions as you set out on a path.  Maybe those people who knew early on in their lives what they wanted to be were just comfortable with the idea that they might misstep as long as they kept their eye on their ultimate goals.  Those people knew earlier than I did that you will sometimes fail and sometimes fall, but that is a part of life and you must accept it to really live.

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