Decisions in life: Have we made the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ones?

Looking back at our own lives, we may sometimes be tempted to re-evaluate the way we have followed in life and decide whether the decisions that have brought us up until this point were the right ones. At the end of the day -we may think-, we could be doing better. Moreover, when we look at what we have done and what we have achieved, and we compare it to what other seemingly better-doing people have pursued and reach, there’s always a chance we will question our past (and current) ability to make decisions.

When we compare our own journey to that of others, does that provide us with a clear picture of how good have our decisions been in the past? At first, it would appear logical that it is. If we think about it, right after the moment we are born we are started on the race of life, where the older we get, the more we feel this urge to excel over others. Sometimes, the society that surrounds us acts as the judge to determine whether our race in life has met the standards to consider it a successful one or not. In their view, the best way to determine this is by comparing what one individual has achieved throughout their life against what other individuals have achieved.

In our modern times, and within most societal standards, these dangerous judgements are quantified (humans are, after all, driven and motivated by what is tangible and immediately available): We compare how much money a person has with respect to the other one, we compare what degree of professional development has a person achieved as compared to others, we compare how many possessions has a person amassed with respect to other people. We compare so many quantifiable attributes in people, and the more we compare, the better we can define whether a person has done well in life by taking the correct decisions. And then, we can see whether we have mimicked their decisions, or conversely, whether we have taken some wrong decisions and we are not as far ahead in the race of life as we could be.

But measuring and quantifying our lives is not an accurate view of our previous or current ability to make good decisions. Quantifying the goodness that surrounds us, the happiness we experience, and the success that we have achieved, is useless. In the end, we must acknowledge that our very human nature is not built on quantifiable attributes: Every person is a unique being, with unique qualities, unique goals and unique missions. Every one of us is pursuing a different path that does not lead to a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ direction, but it rather pursues different directions than other people’s life paths. Moreover, the paths we follow are not dead ends, but they are merely streets that lead to intersections which, down the road, will allow us to modify our route.

Given our uniqueness as individuals and the uniqueness of our missions in life, it is of no use to try to compare ourselves to other individuals, and determine from there whether we have made right or wrong decisions. There are no right or wrong decisions – there are just different decisions, that cannot (and should not) be quantified by tangible attributes. Rest assured that right now, you are at the right place, at the right time, as you are following the road that will lead you to fulfil your own mission.

 

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The Dalai Lama: What is most surprising about humanity?

Dalai Lama

“The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered: ‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Mens Sana in Corpore Sano – Exercise and what?

The Romans wisely coined the phrase “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano”, which roughly translates as “Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body”.

The very base of this thought is not only that by doing exercise, our mind will stay clear of “noise” that allow us to ascertain our world in the most transparent way. Very deep inside, the very message that this phrase conveys is that a balanced life keeps our Mind and Body clear. Indeed, we must pay equal attention to our body and mind to achieve a plentiful Physical Existence. How so?

Vitruvian Man

Let’s start by speaking about the healthy Body. As science has correctly taught us, a healthy Body requires exercise, balanced nutrition, hygiene and regular examinations to make sure that it is always at its peak performance rate. If we only did this, would we automatically know that this healthy Body contains a healthy Mind?

Probably not per se. Despite of the fact that a healthy body provides an ideal environment for a healthy Mind to exist, there is also some maintenance that must be done to the Mind – and such maintenance comes in the shape of relaxation, meditation, and exercising the mind (i.e. thinking!), along with recreational activities and an adequate management of stress.

Being so, Without a healthy Mind, we cannot have a healthy body. Without a healthy Body, we cannot have a healthy Mind. Only achieving a healthy Body does not grant us a healthy Mind, nor vice versa. Life is all about balances – and this famous Roman saying is just a timeless reminder of that for all generations that were, are, and will be.