Wherever you might find yourself reading this article, you’ve likely already made more than a few decisions today. You chose what to wear, which route to take to work, and what to have for breakfast. You decided on a simple updo and to call your mom back tonight instead of immediately and to swipe right on that one guy you weren’t totally sold on.
Our life is made up of an endless stream of decisions, its path dictated by both small and weighty choices we make every single day. But not every decision is created equal — whether or not you chose to stop at Starbucks on the way home either saved or cost you $5, but that decision is hardly life-changing. Some decisions have longer-lasting, more meaningful impacts on our life than others. Some decisions will truly change your life.
So what are the two most significant, life-altering, crucial decisions we’ll make in life?
Who You Marry
The relationships we cultivate and keep are incredibly important and have a direct effect on the quality and path of our life. We’ve all heard it said that we become more like the five people we spend the most time with — making who we choose to be in our inner circle a big decision. But perhaps the most important relationship decision we’ll ever make is about who we marry.
The man we marry has a deeply significant impact on the rest of our life. The ripple effects of this choice go in every direction: He’ll one day become a father to any children we have, directly affecting how they’re raised and turn out as adults and whether or not we have a healthy coparenting situation (is he the type to take care of the kids without balking, or will everything fall on our shoulders?). He’ll have a say in the direction our life takes as we meld lives together – suddenly, where we live or which job we accept won’t just be up to us to decide, and how we approach our goals will be directly affected by how supportive our spouse is. He’ll be the person we share a bank account with and make tough financial decisions with. Not to mention, he’ll have smaller effects on our everyday life, from what family dinners are like to what our home life is like to what our daily rhythms are like.
It’s tempting to want to only focus on the positive when we think about our future, but it’s important to consider how marrying the wrong person could negatively impact our mental and physical health, especially in cases where abuse takes place. And if we did ever go through a divorce, it’s not only incredibly painful, expensive, and would drastically change our life, but any children involved would also suffer consequences.
Your husband influences everything from your finances to your children to what you eat for dinner.
And it doesn’t stop there – studies have shown that as the years go by, we become more and more like our spouse, so it’s important to choose wisely, cautiously, and thoughtfully when we sign up for marriage.
What You Believe
The second decision that will change the course of our life is less of a single decision we make, but a million tiny decisions that add up to a greater sum. And that is what we choose to believe, whether pertaining to our faith or our ideology. What we believe to be true about ourselves, the people around us, and the world, makes us who we are.
What we believe about religion and/or philosophy will unfailingly alter what we believe a life well-lived looks like, what ideals and values we live by, what standards we hold ourselves to, what we consider to be ethical, the kind of people we choose to surround ourselves with, what we teach and instill in our children, how we approach our relationships, and how we interact with the world.
This isn’t a “decision” some people necessarily make – we all know countless people who haven’t given faith or philosophical ideas much thought. But by forming our own opinions and choosing a set of values, standards, and ideals to live by, our life will be inextricably changed.
While we make decisions every day, these two decisions are the biggest deciding factors for what kind of life we lead. It’s important that we take the time to come to them thoughtfully and consider how they will realistically affect the rest of our life.
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