Photo: Sammy Williams

Will “Doing What’s Easiest” Make My Life Better?

Eventually, “staying the same” is impossible

You are making hundreds of choices today and every day. Eventually they determine how much your life changes, and in what direction.

Do you realize that everything you do began as a choice? You’re reading this story, but you could have chosen not to. When you ask, “Should I go dancing with friends tonight or have dinner with them?” you can choose to do one or the other. But your choice doesn’t make a difference until you act on it. (And don’t we all make choices and then don’t act on them?)

Fortunately, we don’t have to think about every action we take. Many actions happen automatically (breathing, for example). We take care of many, many more through rules (“I have to go to work today”) and habits (“I always eat breakfast after I wake up”).

This leaves you with a much smaller number of decisions you do have to think about. And these are the ones you should think about, because they make us who we are and who we will become.

The all-too-common road to ruin

This brings us to the most ruinous choice, the one that causes us to default (as in defaulting on a loan) on our lives — to do what’s easiest, to do what we’ve always done.

The unwelcome but profound truth is that “staying the same” (as in “All I want is for things to stay the same”) is impossible. Things left by themselves decay or break. When you get older and you refuse to start exercising — something you can get away with when you’re young — you start having health problems.

The good news is you can avoid the inevitable problems that result from doing what’s easiest. You will have a better life when you contemplate the long-term consequences of your current life, make better decisions, and act on them.

Look at where you are at today, decide where you want to be, and choose to take the actions that will get you there. Ask yourself, “What will happen if I keep doing this?”

Choose well. Your choice is brief, and yet endless.
— Goethe

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Gregg Williams, MFT

Gregg Williams, MFT

13.6K Followers

Retired therapist. Married 26 years. Loves board games, deep movies. Boundless curiosity about everything. Over 13,600 people are following my articles.