Forrest Gump thinks life is like a box of chocolates. But what he didn’t tell you was that life is more like school. Do you remember the days in school when all you took were tests and exams every few weeks? It didn’t matter what grade or level you were at (kindergarten, elementary, junior high, high school, college, grad school), there was always some sort of test. Just when you thought that you were done taking tests when you finished school, you were introduced to the school of hard knocks called life. The best feature about life’s tests is that there are no wrong answers until you keep repeating them.
If you can just pay more attention, you will realize that you are tested by life in the same way that you were tested in school. They can come in various forms such as multiple-choice, fill in the blank and essay. Every decision that you come upon to make will decide the course of your future. It is through those choices that your life evolves and takes shapes. Sooner or later, if you yearn to change yourself, you have to learn that your life is really a sequence of personal choices.
If you want to heal from a bad relationship or have freedom and peace of mind from your troubles, then you need to admit that the reason you are stuck in a bad situation or event is because of the result of the choices that you have made. Change the mindset to think that no one is doing it to yourself but you. The reason you are stuck in a bad predicament is that you have been doing that to yourself all along.
No matter how bad you are feeling or what negative situation you find yourself in, life grants you the ability to choose a different response to your situation. This beauty in life is that we get to choose how we react to life’s tests. We were all born with the free will to make decisions. With that, it is up to you to decide how you want your future to take place.
Here is the technique to help you take the necessary steps to improve your life. When presented with a test from life, you can make a better choice by finding out what you don’t want. Once you realize this, it will become clear to you about what decision you should make or what your next move will be.
You can go back and analyze past choices you made by using the following method. Draw a small horizontal line and write down a choice that you made on your own. This can be about anything from leaving for college to getting married. Then draw a small vertical line from the end of the horizontal line. On the vertical line, write down the choice that you didn’t make. Continue to draw the horizontal line for choices made and vertical line for choices not made. You don’t have to put down every choice, just the ones that seem big in your life.
For each connection of the horizontal and vertical line, write down your values as to why you made that decision. For example my horizontal line would write “went to USC”. My vertical line would say “go to UCLA”. At the point where the two lines meet, I write down “better career opportunity.” Do this for all your major choices and analyze your values. Find out what it says about you and how you make decisions in your life.
Remember, just because something bad happens in your life, it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. It just means that you may have made some bad decisions along the way. It also means that you are NEVER stuck with the consequences because you have the power to decide to handle the situation.