What is the “right” thing to do?

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Am I doing the right thing? Is this the right time to do this? What am I doing? Self-doubt seem to naturally come up when we are making a decision, or after having made one.

Sometimes the decision to do something is not the real headache. It is unfortunately caused by other people’s opinions. I reiterate; the stress associated with a decision is usually not due to the nature of it or its consequences thereof, but by the subjective judgments of others.

People will give different responses, depending on who you ask for advice. If you reach out to supportive people, then you will likely feel good about your decision (whether it is a logical one or not is a different story). On the other hand, if you reach out to someone who is not supportive or critical, then you will likely feel bad about your decision. That might make you scrap your decision or even despise those who were critical and un-supportive.

Stress from decision-making also arises when we compare ourselves with others, usually in regards to personal ability, quality, or material possessions. Why think s/he is better than you in all aspects as a person? Why get a new model when the old one is working just fine? Why do something that makes you unhappy just because everyone else is doing it? Why not challenge the status quo? Why not break the trend? Why not be different? If people ask you “why?”, say “why not?”

“Care about people’s approval, and you will be their prisoner.” -Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Everyone is at a different phase in life, each following a different clock. Some tick faster while some tick slower, but they are always ticking. Therefore, it is pointless to compare yourself to someone else when it comes to making certain decisions, especially life decisions. Sometimes you cannot help but find yourself comparing to others. When you do, stop and take a breath. Affirm that you are following your own clock, your own time.

Expectations from others can also influence your decision-making. If you are on the fence about choosing between fulfilling expectations of others and personal happiness, what do you think is the right choice? Depending on the situation, these decisions are not always so easy.

Taking into consideration of others when making a decision is appropriate if it is logically reasonable or it “feels right” to you. This should not be seen as being selfish. If you are at peace with your decision, whether it is based on selfishness or altruism, then who is to say you are right or wrong?

After listening to the supporters and critics, contemplating for hours, wavering through emotions, it all comes down to you making the decision. Listening to your own voice is an art that needs to be practiced to get better, like a muscle that needs to be flexed to grow stronger. In due time, confidence will be built, and with confidence comes power.


Any decision to take action will consequently have an outcome. People put their own interpretation by analyzing the decision and result on the basis of societal values, economic values, cultural values or academic knowledge. No one will see through with your decision and agree with you 100%, even if they say they do.

Everyone wears his/her own lens to see the world and make decisions to navigate through life. The real question is are you going to wear yours or someone else’s? Your right or their right?

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