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“What bad habit would you like to change?”

badhabitsI can choose only one? Seriously, I have a ton of bad habits that have stuck around simply because I haven’t deemed them worthy of taking the time necessary to eliminate them from my repertoire. And the ones I have deemed worthy, for some reason, haven’t been all that easy to get rid of, at least in the time I dedicated to them. It’s funny how it works out that way, or doesn’t work out, as the case may be.

But to choose just one? Hmmm. It would probably be my tendency to let other people make decisions for me. Not just those decisions like Taco Bell or Wendy’s either, but like many major decisions in my life. I look back on everything that’s happened to me so far, and what strikes me most is that I let all those things happen to me. I didn’t take a step back when others were making the decisions I should have made, instead going along with the flow.

I wonder what my life would have been like had I made more of those decisions myself, but I have an excuse. Okay, so it’s not an excuse but an explanation. I tend to surround myself with big personalities, people who take over a room because they’re in it. I’ve done it for so long that I tend to copy those people in situations where no one is like that. I guess nature abhors a vacuum or something. Anyway, it always seemed easier to go along with what they thought I should do, instead of taking the time to actually figure out what I wanted or needed to do.

It’s a bad habit. It’s probably the worst habit I have, when I think about it, because often times I did have a preference. Many of those times I had a course of action I would have rather followed, but rather than make waves I just went along. No, that doesn’t mean shooting heroin or anything, but from small things to major things that I’ve done in my life, I haven’t made every single one of those decisions. The decision to leave Philly, it wasn’t me. The choice to move here wasn’t made by me. Down to the slippers I’m wearing on my feet at this exact moment, the choice was made by others.

Perhaps I’m a rubber stamper. Hand me the ink, I’ll hop in it, and you’ll get some perfect footprints mapping out what I’ve done in my life. Some decisions have had wonderful results, like the one to move here, while others have had disastrous consequences (pretty much any decision I’ve allowed other people to make about what happens to my money). It’s one thing to get advice from others on what I should do, but quite another to then take their advice, and only their advice into consideration when making the decision.

I guess it’s easier that way for me because in the end I can’t place all the blame on myself, even though it is 100% my choice to go in the direction they pointed out to me with their LARGE ARROWS. If it doesn’t work out I can sit there and judge them for “making me” do whatever it was I did. And if it does have a good outcome, I can clap them on the back and share in the good fortune, even though I really had nothing to do with it. So yes, if I could change one of my many bad habits, it would be this one. In the end I would be responsible for deciding which paths I go in life, and for the decisions that I make.

Of course, when it comes down to it, all of the ultimate decisions in my life really were made by me, or they were made in tandem with the person they would ultimately affect just as much as me. Like getting married, having kids, and choosing my profession in life, all of those were me, and all of those turned out great, even though each one has its challenges. But that’s life. And I’m ready to make more of my own choices in it.

Sam

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