Isn’t it interesting how quickly time passes when you’re having fun! (For example this Easter break went so quickly! )
It made me think about time and how we make decisions about what we do with our time. We can see that each decision we make or don’t make leads to a ripple effect finishing with the final point in the steps you took to get there. Sometimes it’s easier to see those steps when you look back ….
Just recently, a friend shared some old West Australian newspapers they’d found at a garage sale dated 1978! It was such a novel read, to see the employment section divided into “jobs for men” and “jobs for ladies “, and seeing the annual pay for a computer programmer being $6000 p.a. (before programmers were really heard of) and houses in nice suburbs selling for only $15000.
We all joked about what we would do if we were able to go back in time knowing what we know now. How different life could be if you knew all about the major events in history and developments in the economy? If only we could have gone back in time we might have made different decisions last week, last year, last decade….
Of course without time travel we can only plan forward. Planning forward involves making our best estimate of what we’d like to happen and putting the steps into action to reach them. Arming ourselves with the best knowledge and developing our skills to make decisions that look like they will turn out the way we would like them to.
I remember when I did career counselling with teens and over half of them said they just wanted a job that paid well so they could be “rich”. To truly be rich involves developing a specific plan to be able to earn income, and invest. If the first step is to study a qualification you’d need to put in hours of study and completing assignments. And when you complete the qualification, there needs to be a plan for how you’ll save, invest and /or build a business. Becoming rich doesn’t just happen.
Of course being rich doesn’t necessarily make you happy, which is probably what they were meaning – that they wanted to have the freedom to make decisions that would make them feel happy.
Similarly, with meeting people and deciding who you’d like to be your friend, or who you would like to go out with. You tend to make the best of what you know.
The first step is in how you go about your selection process. Do you make friends / see people just because they like you or do you choose them based on some specific qualities and personality traits?
A second step is the going out stage to see what they are like and whether you match on certain qualities. For example, a longer term friendship or relationship may need more than humour to sustain it – often its things like generosity, reciprocity, trust and reliability that make a real difference to the longevity of either.
Realising what the steps are to establishing these can make a real difference to people’s relationships and therefore happiness and success in life. I invite you to think about some of the specific decisions that you might make, which make up the steps, in helping you to reach a specific goal.
Our psychologists help people develop decision making strategies that they can apply to their lives and/ or the problems they may be experiencing. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.