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Important Life Choices That Determine Success

TristaFebruary 10, 2020
The person you marry is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your lifetime. Photo Credit: Nopparat Nambunyen/Shutterstock

15. Are You Going To Marry The Right Person?

In the United States, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. For those relationships that have fallen apart, they might look back over the years and wonder where things went wrong. Were there red flags that told them that the marriage was not a good idea, but they moved forward anyway? Social pressure often leads people into getting married even when it’s not what will make them happy. After being in a relationship for years, there is always the pressure from family to pop the question. Furthermore, if you don’t think you could do better, or you felt comfortable, you may think marriage is the best option, even if this person doesn’t feel like “the one.”

Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult things anyone can experience. Photo Credit: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Before you get married, you should make sure that you both have the same values. Do you both want children? How many, and when? Do you have mutual respect for one another? Is there sexual chemistry? Can you imagine still loving this person even if they were old and disabled? Do you love them unconditionally? There are so many things you need to consider before jumping into marriage. If you’re not sure, you may want to seek help from a relationship counselor. Also, make especially sure your financial values match, as arguments over money are incredibly common and can tank marriages.

Some people only go to college to please their parents. Photo Credit: Yuttana Jaowattana/Shutterstock

14. Are You Living For What You Want Or What Your Parents Want?

In 2015, 36% of people in their 20’s had gone to college, compared to just 24% of young people back in 1980. The numbers are going up because times are changing, and employers now expect you to have a degree. However, many of these students only went to college because their parents told them it was the best and only option for succeeding in life. Now, many of those people have a crippling amount of debt without the ability to use their degree for a job. Most of the time, parents push you to do things when they are living vicariously through you. In this example, maybe they never went to college, so they forced you to go in their place.

Your parents may be disappointed, but it is more important to do what makes you happy. Photo Credit: Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Usually, this is coming from a place of love. Your parents want the best for you, and they may feel that it’s necessary to push you to succeed. Alternatively, they might have a very narrow view of success where only doctors and lawyers are the ones who make much money. Nevertheless, once you become an adult, you need to decide if you will live someone else’s dreams or your own. You will never succeed in a job or career you hate since you will lack the passion that motivates hard work and makes it feel worthwhile.

Watching sports can be fun, but you won’t learn anything by watching. Photo Credit: Ivanko80/Shutterstock

13. Would You Rather Learn Or Be Entertained?

We live in a time where we have an endless amount of free content at our fingertips. If you have a Netflix subscription, there are so many TV shows and movies available, it’s impossible to watch them all in one lifetime. Same for YouTubers who are creating free content daily. When you get home from work, you decide what kind of shows you want to watch. Are you watching sports and reality TV? Moreover, does it bring any value to your life? If you have a limited amount of time for consuming content, it’s essential to decide how much entertainment versus learning you want in that time slot.

YouTube has millions of videos that will teach you anything you want to learn. Photo Credit: Sutipond Somnam/Shutterstock

Instead of watching shows that are purely for entertainment, you could spend that same amount of time learning information that will help you succeed and add value to your life. There are YouTube channels dedicated to every single career path you could imagine. It’s up to you how you spend your free time. While everyone deserves luxury and entertainment, it’s often necessary to put those aside in the scramble up the ladder in our society. If you truly focus on winning the race, you may want to spend your leisure time on self-improvement and continuing education.

Are you planning for the future? Photo Credit: GaudiLab /Shutterstock

12. Live In The Moment Or Prepare For The Future?

This next question is problematic because it is vital to balance your life between living in the moment and preparing for the future. If you spend your money as soon as you make it, party, and only think about it today, you will be ill-prepared for the future. As soon as there is an emergency, you may not be able to pay for your expenses. Even worse, once you get ready for retirement, you might realize nothing is left for you to survive. However, always saving for the future can make life feel dull and could lead to burnout that harms your ability to save and invest long-term.

It is healthy to live in the moment sometimes. Photo Credit: Cristina Conti/Shutterstock

On the other hand, some people live purely for the future. Instead of having fun and making friends, they work their fingers to the bone and save money for the future. These people usually end up becoming more affluent, but it is like being Ebenezer Scrooge. If you spend your entire life chasing money instead of having fun, you might end up becoming a miserable older adult who is all alone. That is why it is so important to balance your life between these two. It’s OK to have fun and live in the moment when you are young, but always remember that the future will come someday.

Are you going to eat healthy food or junk? Photo Credit: Lightspring/Shutterstock

11. The Right Food

An estimated 140 million Americans are considered to be either obese or overweight. Years ago, plenty of people ate to their heart’s content and weren’t gaining weight. The only thing that has changed in our society is the prevalence of pre-packaged foods and drinks full of sugar. If you haven’t already seen it, we seriously recommend watching the documentary Fed Up. In it, you will learn just how corrupt laws and business tactics have been keeping Americans fat. After seeing this, you will realize that it’s not anyone’s fault they are overweight. They were essentially tricked into eating the wrong things. However, you don’t have to live your entire life that way.

Eating healthy can make you happier. Photo Credit: RossHelen/Shutterstock

Depending on your situation, it might be tough to make the right decisions when eating healthy things. If you have $5 in your bank account, eating from the McDonald’s dollar menu might seem like your only option. However, you could just as easily buy a head of lettuce and some dressing for $2. Go ahead and have a salad instead of a hamburger and fries. We need to admit to ourselves that this is a decision to eat unhealthy because it tastes better. You have the power to eat healthy foods and keep yourself living a long and thriving life. 

The decision to buy a house or not can be one of the biggest decisions ever. Photo Credit: takasu/Shutterstock

10. Buy A House Or Rent?

If you want to grow your wealth, you may be thinking about purchasing real estate. After all, paying rent is really like paying off someone else’s mortgage. You won’t end up with an asset at the end of a rental agreement, either. Most wealthy people attribute home ownership to being one of the significant milestones in their financial growth. Purchasing a home is one of the greatest routes out of poverty and towards creating generational wealth since the property is an asset that can be passed on to children. Home-ownership, under the right conditions, is an extremely sound financial choice.

Even though it’s part of the American Dream, buying is not for everyone. Photo Credit: Song_about_summer/Shutterstock

However, there are some people out there who genuinely hate the idea of owning a home. They don’t want a 30-year mortgage to worry about. If they need to move for work, it is much easier to change apartments instead of selling a house. Furthermore, as a tenant, you’re not responsible for any repairs to the home. There are also many young people, especially in high-priced cities like San Francisco and New York, who are indeed locked out of homeownership by staggeringly high housing costs. Only you can decide what’s best for your situation, including which city to live in and whether to rent or buy.

For a lot of people, raising kids is a dream come true. Photo Credit: Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock

9. Do You Want To Have Children?

Back in 1970, the average age a woman started having children was 21 years old. Today, the average age has gone up to 26. Moreover, according to The New York Times, people in more success-driven cities like New York and San Francisco don’t start having kids until their 30s. People are waiting a lot longer to have kids because more people are going to college and focusing on establishing their lives before settling down. Children are also a genuinely massive expense over a lifetime, so your financial planning will need to factor in the high cost of raising children.

Some people don’t feel ready to have children, but society pushes them to do it anyway. Photo Credit: Pikul Noorod/Shutterstock

If you are nearing the age of 30 and haven’t had children yet, you might be feeling pressure from friends and family to become a parent. You need to decide if it’s something you truly want for yourself and your partner. There is no shame in having a childless marriage if this is what you want from life. What would be worse is bringing a child into the world when you don’t want them. And if you’re going to have kids, you need to make sure you are in the best situation possible to take care of them.

College majors in the medical industry almost always lead to getting a good job. Credit: Burst by Shopify

8. What College Major Will You Choose?

If you are still young enough to be in college, you need to ask yourself if the major you chose will help you succeed. Will it give you a comfortable living up until retirement age? If you are unsure where to start, Kiplinger has a list of the best college majors for a lucrative career. Remember that college is an investment. You will be spending a lot of time and money going to school, so it needs to be worth it in the end. While everyone deserves to study their passion, that sadly just isn’t feasible with the staggering rising cost of tuition.

With college majors, there are so many different choices in front of you. Photo Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

On the other hand, you should not pick a major solely because it is supposed to make much money. For example, many people try to go after a computer science degree, but if they have never taken calculus before, they will struggle through the courses. You should pick something that you are already good at and genuinely interested in that should lead to potential job opportunities. Also, the market tends to devalue any positions that start to make too much money. Hence the considerable push we’re seeing towards teaching more people to code so the industry can lower wages.

If you learn to invest, your money can grow over time. Photo Credit: Cozine/Shutterstock

7. Work For Your Money Or Have Your Money Work For You

This next bullet point is easier said than done. You will have to make a series of decisions in your life to make your money grow. Some people are so worried about making ends meet that they are hyper-focused on making enough money to pay their bills and enjoy life. However, if you only do this, you could lose out on opportunities to have your money work for you so that you work less. Thankfully, investing small amounts in the stock market is becoming easier thanks to apps like Robinhood that allow regular people to buy partial shares and penny stocks.

Do you want your money to work for you? Photo Credit: Joyseulay/Shutterstock

If you live in the United States, nearly everyone has the opportunity to invest in something where the compound interest will make a massive difference. If you start saving in a Roth IRA when you are in your early 20s, you can retire a millionaire. Furthermore, once you have a million dollars, that money can be put in a money market account that generates enough interest for you to live comfortably without working. Always remember to pay yourself first and focus on your savings and investing goals before spending money on treats for yourself or others to ensure you stay on track.

Sometimes, serving your community can bring more value to your life. Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

6. Serve Yourself Or Others?

In many cases, there is nothing wrong with living a life of giving, and it can even help you succeed. Look at people like Mother Theresa, who was sainted for helping orphaned children. Oprah Winfrey is famous for her generosity, and so is the YouTuber Mr. Beast. They all found a way to live a life dedicated to others’ service, but it also helped them succeed. One of the greatest benefits of achieving wealth is that you can then use it to better others and society as a whole, be it direct donations or funding things like vaccine research.

Are you living to serve yourself, or other people? Photo Credit: Liderina/Shutterstock

On the flip side, giving too much to other people can sometimes take away from your success. For example, if you are taking a back seat on your dreams to help a friend build their business, you will not make yourself a priority. Ask yourself how you would live your life differently if you lived it for your hopes and dreams. Desiring something for yourself is not selfish. There should be a way to balance what you want with giving to others. Make sure you don’t have any time or energy vampires in your life who are holding you back from moving forward towards your goals.

Sometimes, your heart can get in the way of making a lot of money. Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

5. Are You Going To Chase Money Or Love? 

Love is the most beautiful thing in the world. Just like oxygen, it is something people need to survive and thrive. Even though it should be the objective of everyone’s life, society tricks us into believing that money is more important. However, you’ve got to pay the bills. Food has to go on the table somehow. And if you want to reach your full potential, it sometimes means sacrificing being in a relationship. It’s important to find a partner who shares your values on money, whether it’s non-stop hustling or saving every penny. A mismatch in financial goals can create a strained, unhappy relationship.

Some people need to choose between money and love. Photo Credit: Fotovika/Shutterstock

In some instances, people need to stay single for a long time if they want to succeed. Being in a relationship takes a lot of time and effort. So if you are working 24/7 to build your career, there might not be time to give to others. However, if you go too long only thinking about your selfish desires, you might ruin a great relationship. Or, your motivation to make money might not be greedy, especially if you are trying to help pay for your family’s needs. There is no right answer to this question, but it is still one you need to ask yourself honestly. What’s more important to you personally? Money or love?

Working can be exhausting, but it’s better than being broke. Credit: Burst by Shopify

4. Would You Rather Be Tired Or Broke?

Sometimes, the one thing stopping someone from success is pure exhaustion. If you come home from work, you want to lay down on the couch and take a nap. The thought of going to a side-hustle or starting a business seems exhausting. Giving up your nightly beer in favor of waking up at 6 a.m. sounds like too much of a chore. However, it’s important to consider physical limitations. If you’re disabled, don’t push yourself into illness with a side hustle since the medical bills alone will negate any income you earned. Ideally, everyone deserves to rest after a hard day’s work.

Doctors work 24-hour shifts, but they make a lot of money. Credit: Burst by Shopify

The truth is that most successful people earned their money because they were willing to work through total exhaustion. They might work 60 to 100 hours per week and barely sleep if it means meeting their goals. These people would rather be exhausted than broke. Depending on your situation, you might truly want to choose sleep and health instead of money. The decision is up to you. However, be aware that humans need rest and relaxation to be healthy, and sometimes driving yourself to exhaustion is counterproductive because the quality of your work will diminish. Quality tends always to be more valuable than quantity.

Sometimes, going back to school as an adult can change their life for the better. Photo Credit: 4 PM production/Shutterstock

3. Should You Go Back To School?

If you already graduated a few years ago, you might regret the major you chose when you were in your teens or early 20s. You may just not be passionate about the same topics if you ever were at all. Maybe you are considering a career change. If so, you might be thinking about going back to school. It can accelerate your personal growth and potentially help you earn a more considerable income, or it could be a colossal mistake that could put you deeper into student loan debt. If you go back to school as an adult, look into scholarships and programs for non-traditional students.

Graduating with a new degree could help your career path. Photo Credit: gui jun peng/Shutterstock

Before deciding to go back to school, take out a pen and paper and start to project how much you will make if you continue with your current job until retirement. Then, calculate how much you will make if you get a higher-paying job with this new career you hope to get after graduation. Subtract the cost of your new degree. Would it be worth it? Furthermore, are there other expenses involved like child care? Sometimes, this decision might also have to do with your happiness and well-being instead of money. No one can make this decision for you, but it is essential to think long and hard about the pros and cons.

Do you want to quit your job? Photo Credit: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock

2. Should You Quit Your Job Or Stay For Life?

There are many people out there who feel unhappy with their job. Moreover, if they work in a toxic environment, they might even have a manager or boss who makes them feel inadequate like they can’t do any better. No one can tell you whether you should quit your job or not, and life circumstances may force you to stay somewhere longer than you would like. However, every person on this planet deserves happiness. If you are extremely unhappy in your workplace, make an escape plan. We are not suggesting that you should stand up at your desk and declare that you quit. Nevertheless, if you are unhappy, you should prepare your resume and start applying for new jobs.

Some people are truly happy with their job and want to stay there for life. Photo Credit: NDAB Creativity/Shutterstock

On the other hand, you might be delighted with your current job. Some people have the complete opposite problem of being content in a position that other people consider to be not so impressive. For example, maybe you genuinely love working in a clothing store because you love fashion. However, your parents are always telling you that you should have been a lawyer. No one should make you feel inadequate in any way. If you love the job, you are doing and make enough money to get by, that’s the most important thing. There are plenty of people out there who make much money but are miserable. So hold on to happiness when you can.

Are you taking a backseat in your life or driving? Photo Credit: WeAre/Shutterstock

1. Do You Want To Be A Driver Or A Passenger In Life? 

There are some people out there who like to go with the flow. They are not too concerned with how they do in school, what job they get, and so on. These people are essentially passengers in their own life. If something terrible happens, they feel helpless, as if it was predestined for them to fail. This sense of powerlessness can often lead to feelings of depression and unhappiness. Furthermore, when something goes wrong, these people are more likely to blame their parents, teachers, or spouse. If you’re content only to be a passenger, you can’t be too surprised if the car veers off your desired course.

It is possible for you to take control of your own life. Photo Credit: SvetaZi/Shutterstock

If you want to make changes in your life, you need to be the driver. Take control of the vehicle that is your life. No matter what your circumstances may have been when you were born, you ultimately have the power to improve your life. Yes, there are some people out there who had it easy. Furthermore, for you, it may be a process of crawling before you can run. However, with every decision you make, you are getting one step closer to success. Don’t let anyone else tell you what your life should look like or what you’re capable of.

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