Thinking 'Too Much'; It's NOT A Bad Thing
There are those who say we tend to think too much before making important decisions. I disagree. Judging from the results of bad personal decisions we often read about in the news, such as nasty divorces and child abuse or homicide cases, my feeling is that we dont think enough.
Weve all heard the saying, "if you think too much, youll never...." fill in the blank. It can be getting married, having children, taking a new job, moving to a new town, the list is endless. But if taking the time to ponder an important life decisions results in not taking an action that could have been a serious mistake in the long run, how could that possibly be a bad thing? Where is it written that we must all make the same life choices that everyone else does?
Anyone who watches the Dr. Phil show, for example, sees many examples of how bad decisions that werent properly thought out beforehand have gotten completely out of control. Couples whose marriages are "in the ditch" after only a few months because they didnt take the time to consider the practical issues of living together and what criteria each partner thought was essential to a successful marriage. Parents who are having difficulties with discipline and other problems because they didnt talk about the pros and cons of having children or differences in discipline philosophy before the first or subsequent pregnancy occurred. Or worse, parents who are borderline or actually abusive to their children because they are overwhelmed with the responsibilities of raising children, and maybe shouldnt have taken them on to begin with.
Its rather ironic, however, that the folks who caution us against thinking too hard about a particular life choice before making it often tend to be those who are suffering from the consequences of bad decisions they already made. And theyd rather not see too many of us making better choices than they did and as a result, enjoying a better quality of life. Otherwise, why would someone who weighs all the pros and cons of getting married, having a child, or obtaining a job in a particular field and then decides not to take the action at this or any other time make a difference to anyone?
What kinds of problems could be avoided in our personal lives if we took the time to think before we leapt? The possibilities are endless. We can avoid marrying the wrong people if we take a long time to determine what type of person would make the best life partners for ourselves and refuse to get involved with, let alone marry, anyone who doesnt have those qualities. People can avoid the sad mistake of having children if they know in their hearts that they wouldnt be good parents, or having too many children if they consider how much parental responsibility they can realistically handle first. Some of us can avoid making bad financial decisions like taking on too many credit cards which I refer to as debt cards when one would have been enough. Or purchasing a home too soon, when staying in the rented apartment for a few months or years longer would have been a smarter choice.
So if you are having difficulty making a particular decision and advice from family and friends isnt too productive in assisting you in making the final choice, what can you do? One word; research. The best place to obtain all the reading material you need, at no charge if your funds are very limited, is your local public library. Theres one in almost every town in this country. Its a place where you can get the equivalent of a free college education on any subject you want, yet it remains unused by a large amount of the population. In the movie "Seven," Morgan Freemans character William Somerset made an observation to the security guards at the public library, "Ill never understand it. All these books. A world full of knowledge at your fingertips. And what do you do? You play poker all night." I couldnt agree more. It is a shame, because if more people would make use of it, theyd have all the knowledge they needed to arrive at the right decisions for themselves.
How do you define success? Some may think of a successful person as one who has a lot of money, for others it has a different meaning. Everyone has their own interpretation, and mine may not agree with yours. For me, however, a successful person is someone who has most, if not all, of what he or she wants in life because this individual took the time to think over the benefits and possible negative consequences of a choice before making it. They didnt just leap blindly into something without having thought each matter through. As a result, these individuals have the things they need and want, and dont waste a lot of time complaining about the small mistakes they made occasionally. They might not have the trappings of success that others consider important, but they are very happy with the quality of life they do have. They have family, friends, enough money to pay their bills and still live a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle. To me, thats a life well worth having.