Important Choices In Life Essay

“When it comes down to it, it isn’t the major choices we make in life – career, marriage, etc. – that count the most. It is the everyday, minor decisions that make life work for us.” –Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D.

Have you ever stopped to think about the impact your choices have had, or are having, on your life? When I was thinking about a topic for the next blog post the word “choices” came to mind. Occasionally I hear people say, “I have/had no choice.” And I couldn’t understand why they felt that way. See, they had a choice, they just didn’t like the choices. I guess you can say it was a choice between the “lesser of two evils.” Or they felt they were not able to make the choice they really wanted. Well my feeling was….if you can’t do it now, then plan for it so you can do it at some future date. Just come up with a plan, take action, and stick to it until you achieve whatever it is you want. Nobody said it would be easy, however, it can be done. That’s just my two cents worth.

In his book “Choices,” Dr. Shad Helmstetter came up with a list of the 100 Most Important Choices in your life. Before we get to the list, here’s a little of what Shad Helmstetter had to say about making choices:

“When we begin to take a careful look at the choices we make, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that the most important choices are the choices that guide and direct the major areas of our life.

It is easy to think that if we make good choices about our career, marriage, education, income, family, etc., we should be able to do just fine.
But what about the other choices – the thousands of almost unnoticed choices that all of us make (or do not make), day in and day out? How important are those “little” choices?

They are exceptionally important. It may be the big choices in life that set the direction for where we’re going, but it is the little choices that get us there.

Our loftiest goals become nothing more than unfulfilled dreams in life that fall by the wayside if we do not just as carefully make, and act on the smaller choices along the way. What do the little choices look like? I’ll give you some examples.

Here is a list of 100 choices. Some of them seem important; others seem so insignificant that we might wonder how they could be important at all. But each of them makes up some part of what we call “life.”

As you read through this list, notice that any one of the choices, no matter how seemingly insignificant, affects something about us; what we do, how we spend our time, what we think and how we think, how we feel, what we like or dislike, what works for us and what does not.

Each of us makes tens of thousands of choices in a lifetime.” A few of them are mentioned below. This book looks like it was written in 1989, so keep that in mind when wondering why you don’t see references to email, computer games, the internet, or social networking sites. Remember, these are just some choices. Emphasis on the word some.

Your 100 Most Important Choices:

1 – Who you spend most of your time with

2 – How you comb your hair

3 – What your favorite foods are

4 – What you eat most often

5 – How often you call home

6 – The books you read

7 – Your posture

8 – How much or how little you smile

9 – What you watch on television and how much you watch

10 – Your hobbies

11 – How much you exercise

12 – Whether you argue more than you should

13 – The style and color clothes you wear

14 – Who you invite to a party

15 – Whether you write letters

16 – Which telephone calls you return

17 – The appearance of your home

18 – How long something stays broken before you fix it

19 – How late you stay up at night

20 – What time you get up in the morning

21 – How well you listen to others

22 – Whether you smoke

23 – Whether you gossip

24 – How well you are able to concentrate

25 – The political candidates you vote for

26 – Whether you like or fear computers

27 – How fast you drive

28 – How much risk you are willing to take

29 – Whether you save money

30 – Whether you are a leader or a follower

31 – The amount of time you spend with your kids

32 – How organized you are

33 – Whether you go to church

34 – Whether you belong to a social or service organization

35 – How often you change shoes

36 – Who you admire most

37 – How often you are late for something

38 – What you do about a traffic ticket

39 – Who pays the bills in your household

40 – Who decides what to have for dinner

41 – How much time you give yourself to get ready in the morning

42 – What you do at the end of the day

43 – What you drink, if, and how much

44 – Where you buy your groceries, and why

45 – How calm you are

46 – Whose opinions you ask for

47 – How you handle problems at work

48 – Whether you attend concerts or cultural events

49 – How often you eat out

50 – How interested you are in other people

51 – How you show your emotions

52 – What newspapers or magazines you read

53 – Whether you give free advice

54 – What kind of car you drive, and what shape it’s in

55 – How you react to negative attitudes or opinions from others

56 – What sports you participate in

57 – How you spend your holidays

58 – How important it is for you to follow the trend

59 – How much time you spend talking to your spouse or mate

60 – How important you feel you are

61 – How you use credit cards

62 – How you look at problems in the past

63– How you treat or relate to members of the opposite sex

64 – How often you feel sorry for yourself

65 – Who upsets you the most

66 – Whether you like a challenge

67 – Who controls the conversation

68 – How you feel about world problems

69 – What you think about while you’re getting ready in the morning

70 – How much you worry

71 – How much patience you have

72 – How many compliments you give

73 – What gets you angry

74 – How often you almost run out of gas in the car

75 – What you do when you don’t get your way

76 – How much you spend, and on what

77 – How often you criticize

78– How happy you are

79 – How you feel about what other people think of you

80 – How often you do not tell the truth, and why

81 – How you take care of yourself

82 – How much you respect yourself

83 – How often you complain

84 – How often you have to be reminded of something

85 – Who you talk to when you have a problem

86 – How you leave your desk or work space at the end of the day

87 – What movies you attend

88 – How often you get a haircut

89 – How often you have friends visit

90 – How much encouragement you give to others

91 – How polite you are

92 – When you do your Christmas shopping

93 – What you think about, when you have time to think

94 – How much time you take to sell your ideas

95 – Whether you eat breakfast

96 – How you feel when you come home from work

97 – What you do when you’ve made a mistake

98 – What you do when someone else has made a mistake

99 – How you react to being stuck in a traffic jam

100 – What you think about just before you go to sleep at night

Dr. Shad Helmstetter’s website is: http://www.shadhelmstetter.com

You might also like: The 3 Decisions that Control Your Destiny
26 Quotes on Choices

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Posted in Books, Life Lessons, Personal Development, Quotes | Tagged 100 Most Important Life Choices, Books, Choices, Life, Life Choices, Life Lessons, Personal Development, Quotes, Self-help, Self-improvement | 25 Comments


Someday, everyone has to make an important decision in his or her life. Personally, I made the most important decision in my life when I graduated from university. I was thinking whether to apply for a PhD program and continue my education or work for a company. In what follows, I state my decision and explain why I made that decision.

First, this decision was very important for me because it determined my career. I had two possible careers ahead: study for PhD and continue my career as a college professor, and second, work for a company as a consultant engineer. As far as I am concerned, teaching as a professor is less paid than an engineering job. On the other hand, a college professor can have more free time and vacation than an engineer working for a company. In addition, teaching at university is a routine job and sometimes disgusting. Teaching the same lessons each semester for years, dealing with students’ various problems etc. is not interesting for a person like me. In contrast, engineering involves challenges and problem solving, which I like and suits me well. Therefore, that is why I chose working as an engineer over teaching at university.

Secondly, it was a long-term decision. One not only needs to study five to six years for PhD but also have to start a new lifestyle as a professor. In my view, I believe that a person’s job should be compatible with the person’s personality. If I do my favorite job, I can work better and more efficient. For example, when I was at university, in our math class, the professor gave me a very complex project. For I like math and computer programming, I managed to work 10 hours a day on computer, writing a personal computer code to solve some mathematical equations. What’s more, I can have more fun. Doing my favorite job in my entire life is very delightful rather than doing the job I do not like or worse, hate or forced to do. I think I made a right decision because I believe doing the job I like is very important.

To sum up, my career choice after graduation from university is the most important decision in my life for the aforementioned reasons. Choosing a job that matches one’s personality and provides a reasonable income are the most important factors in decision-making. If so, the person can be more efficient and live happier.

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