Stop comparing yourself to others. The game you are playing, what you want to win is entirely personal. Making the right decision requires knowing your game. The immediate fate of a decision, or a situation can make us decide something that is not in our best interest. In the short term a bunch of factors come in to play. Maybe it is a friendship, a relationship, happiness, or money. These things cloud our judgment, and prevent us from making the best decision. I’ve studied decision theory, and wrote a book on it.
While researching this topic, and making many bad decisions along the way, I learned what drives us to make decisions. Usually we decide based on the worst factors, not the best. We let irrationality win, and make choices based on what we perceive is the path of least resistance. Maybe we don’t like to hurt others, and want to make everyone in the world happy. Or, we might desire to help others. Money might drive our decisions. The perceived effect of something, say an election, can determine our actions.
But, in the long run these things disappear and the barometer becomes only this: are you happy? As there are many ways to achieve happiness, you need to figure out what game you are playing. Do you want to make the most money? Do you want to have the most friends? Do you want to travel the world? How about working hard at things you can believe in, is that your priority? Maybe you want love and a family.
The game defines how you act, and then the decisions become easy because they need only align with where you want to be. You see, life is best lived as a proactive action, not as a reactive decision. When you can act with foresight you remain in front of any potential obstacles. Instead of things blindsiding you, you can expect difficulties and already have a plan for dealing with them.
Life is a game fraught with challenges and obstacles. The only question is, how will you deal with the inevitable setbacks that come your way. Too many become shocked when encountering something difficult, as if they never thought they would face a challenge and are incredulous at not being above and exempt from difficulties. Those that learn to deal with adversity the best, succeed the most.
Dealing in the best way requires knowing your game and taking a proactive approach to bad things. While you do not need to have all the answers what you must have is a way to prioritize when required. When you do not know your game, what you are playing for, then making decisions becomes very hard. Knowing what you want means being able to make easy decisions because you look at the long game, not the short game.
So, do you know your game? Knowing your game is one of the most difficult things to discover. Are you after money? Love? Leaving a legacy? What fulfills you? We are all trying to find happiness, so do not give up on yours because you want to make everyone else around you happy. Each person has a responsibility to attain to his/her own happiness. This is not your job. When you make choices based on the long term aim of winning your game then you will do what is right for yourself and everyone else, as well.
Putting yourself in this mindset means thinking with your heart, not your head. This means knowing the language of happiness your heart speaks and seeks, and when you make decisions with your end game in mind, with your heart, wrong decisions will never mean that you didn’t care enough, or that you didn’t try hard enough. Wrong decisions will not mean that you are a cruel person, or heartless. They will mean you care deeply. So, care deeply. Know your game, and seek to fulfill that end in every decision you make.