“Between B (birth) and D (death), there is C (choice).” This rather well-known phrase refers to the unchanging truth that your life is an unbroken series of making choices. From life-changing decisions that are made only once or twice in lifetime, to more everyday occasions such as deciding what to eat for lunch, tens and even hundreds of choices comprise the pattern of your life.
Not all the choices you make carry the same weight. Choices that seemed like such a big deal at the time they were made may not have as lasting impacts in the long run, while others that seemed rather insignificant in the beginning may later turn out to be one of the monumental decisions of your entire life.
For instance, the majority of Koreans in their late teens may believe that their entire future hangs on their choice of university. Although the importance of such choice is not to be denied, many students come to realize in a few years’ time - after they have safely completed the hectic stage of entering college, only to discover that university life also has its own drama and dynamics that may prove as challenging as high school life - that what they considered such a critical crossroads was, in fact, just one of the many choices to be made at that time of life.
The opposite case is also true: a seemingly blasé choice of agreeing to take the blind date your friend offers, for example, may lead you to meet someone that you end up getting married to. Finding your dream job at a random job fair, or discovering ideal future home during a quick trip abroad can be understood in a similar context. In other words, it is very difficult, sometimes almost impossible, to fully predict the result of a certain choice. A decision may not always bear the result you expected beforehand.
In the face of such unpredictability, it is almost too easy to succumb to the sweet temptation of letting someone else decide your path for you while you take an idle step back. However, putting on the act of an unconcerned spectator will not change the fact that it is you, and no-one else, who will benefit or suffer from the result.
Relying on adults - parents, teachers, uncles and aunts, older friends and siblings - to make your decisions for you is both a convenience and a curse acceptable only in childhood. A grown-up may seek advice from others with more experience or expertise, but in the end it is you that has the final say. That way, the responsibility for the outcomes of their choices are purely theirs to claim. Such responsibility is a double-edged sword; while being fully responsible for a certain choice may protect you from having to share the glory of a well-made one, it may also leave you without no-one but yourself to blame for a choice with unforeseen, fatal implications.
Therefore, it is important to think carefully through your options before deciding on one. Collecting as much information as possible before making the final decision is also crucial. Also, dithering for too long is to be avoided; all the thinking and accruing background knowledge would all come to nothing if you hesitate to act upon them. Be thorough but not cautious, confident but not rash. That way, you may be able to map your life out in a more satisfactory fashion.
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