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What Path Should You Take?

By Bryan Golden

       We all face decisions throughout life when circumstances change.  Deciding what path to take can pose a dilemma.  Each of the various options has positives and negatives.  How do you determine the best course of action?

There are a number of factors to consider.  Your personality traits play a significant role.  What do you like and dislike?  What’s your affinity for risk?  How much challenge are you happy with?  The answers to these questions affect what path you will be comfortable taking.  For example, someone who is uncomfortable with risk won’t be happy with high-risk decisions.

Identifying your goals is essential to choosing the right path.  Unless you know your destination, it’s impossible to decide which way to go.  Not having goals has the same effect as failing to identify them.  All paths are equal when you don’t know where you want to wind up.

Your degree of preparation impacts which paths are available to you.  Success is possible when preparation meets opportunity.  It is disheartening when a particular path is unavailable because you are unprepared to travel down it.

There are numerous areas where preparation pays off.  Your education is a major one.  Having the appropriate skills and knowledge opens up many paths.  The acquisition of knowledge is an investment in yourself that increases in value over time.  Knowing what to do and how to do it enables you to take advantage of many opportunities.  Education is a lifetime pursuit.  Always keep expanding your base of knowledge.

Another area of preparation is financial.  Having a cash cushion and low debt opens up many options.  Owing a lot, with little or no money saved, increases the pressure you are under.  Without preparation, an unexpected expense or drop in income will have an intensified impact.

Not only does money in the bank and low debt buy you time when dealing with the unexpected, it opens up paths should you want to change direction.  There are many opportunities lost to people who don’t have adequate capitalization.  Some examples are starting a business, retiring, or taking vacations.  Live below your means and only buy things you can pay for.

You chose paths in many areas, often simultaneously.  Personal, professional, career, education, and relationships, are just some of them.  Pay attention to all of the various options facing you.  Don’t ignore decisions you have to make in all areas by narrowly focusing on just one.

A key life survival skill is being able to adapt to changes and challenges.  Change is the only constant in life.  Each change opens up new paths for you to choose.  Picking the right path involves being able to assess the various options, identify the advantages and disadvantages of each, making the best decision possible with the information available, and taking action.

Don’t procrastinate when faced with selecting a path.  When you do, the path will choose you.  Whenever you are faced with choices, identify the positives and negatives of each option.  Evaluate each path as to which has the greatest advantage or least disadvantage.  Always think before you act.  Decisions are usually subjective.  Your choice will often have both advantages and disadvantages.  Your selection should take into account your personality, goals, and degree of preparation.

The path you take must be based on your needs and desires.  A different path might be appropriate for someone else.  Frustration will follow when your selection is based on satisfying someone else.  So don’t let other people unduly influence your decision.  Your path must be based on your needs.  Take the path that looks the best based on the information you have at the time.  Stay open to change.  Even when you are on a path, new paths will emerge.


  Bryan is the author of “Dare to Live Without Limits.”  Contact Bryan at or visit Copyright 2024 Bryan Golden

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