We have all made big decisions in our lives. Go to college or take a job, or both. Get married or stay single for a while. Have a child or two or none at all. Buy a house, maybe rent an apartment. These are among the more familiar.
We know when we make these decisions that they are important. Big decisions are conscious. But we make little decisions all the time without stopping and thinking about the little decisions, those we make day in and day out that affect our lives, perhaps cumulatively, as much as many a big decision. They may seem innocuous and mundane but set us on paths that lead to destinations perhaps unseen.
The friendships we make may be casual at first but when continued determine how the world sees us and often influence everything we do. The way we spend our money today can determine if we have enough tomorrow. Whether we are good samaritans begins with a few simple acts of kindness and can lead to a philanthropic life.
The direction we go throughout life is the sum total of so many little decisions. We may not stop to examine our direction as a whole until we finally pause to look back.
Day in and day out we decide, maybe unconsciously, to spend time talking to our children, hopefully to listen to our children, and to show our children love. Little moments are often those remembered forever and communicate a momentous message. The same is true for our interactions with our parents, our co-workers, and our neighbors. Every day we let others know how we feel about them, intentionally or unintentionally.
We decide to do our best work or try to avoid work and thereby set the tone of our future. Something excites us and we form a hobby. We lose ourselves in painting a landscape or writing a poem or taking a photograph. Cooking becomes an art and running a habit and fishing a relaxation. What we do with our time makes a difference or just weighs us down.
Any one moment, any little decision, any focus is part of a path we are creating. If we treat little decisions with as much respect as we treat big decisions, we can determine our destiny.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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