by Niall Doherty

Let’s tackle just a handful of areas in this thing called life…

Friends

You get to choose your friends. Or rather, you get to choose who your friends aren’t. That decision is totally yours to make.

I’ve “broken up” with friends in the past, people who had elbowed their way into my life and tried to impose their friendship on me. It’s awkward to sit someone down and tell them you don’t want to be their friend. Easier to try letting the relationship fade out first. But if that doesn’t work, keep in mind that it’s your life and you get to decide who’s in it. You are fully entitled to give someone the boot, without apology.

(This actually applies to family, too. I never quite get how people can feel loyalty to cruel and horrible people just because they happen to share the same genes. Family ties should never excuse assholery.)

Job

Many people work jobs they hate because they feel they don’t have a choice. Listen, you always have a choice. Always. It might be a shitty choice, but it’s a choice nonetheless. And with some hard work and self-discipline you can vastly improve your options.

I’m not saying you should quit your job today. But know that you always have that choice. And most people who do quit their jobs don’t die or end up living on the street. They figure shit out and they survive.

I doubt anyone in the history of the world has ever said, “You know, I really regret quitting that shit job that made me feel miserable all the time.”

Romance

You call the shots here, too. How attractive you are to the opposite sex isn’t entirely up to you, but you can level your sexy self up quite a bit by taking good care of your body and living the kind of life that people want to be a part of (hint: such a life does not involve watching several hours of TV each day).

You can also, you know, actually go and start conversations with people you’re attracted to. Sometimes they talk back.

Or so I’ve heard.

If you find yourself in a less than ideal relationship, that’s a choice. Assuming your life isn’t in danger or anything, you get to walk away any time you like. There’s a weird phenomenon where people often stay in shit relationships, trying to make them work. It’s like the bad gambler who sees his initial investment fail, and then throws more money on the table to try make things right. Rarely works out well.

If you’re in a relationship and wondering if you should walk away, ask yourself this: Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time and choose again to start this relationship, would you do it?

Forget history and forget investment. If a relationship is making you miserable, choose to walk away.

Adventure

Let’s end with this one: You get to choose your adventure.

Only you can decide to travel the world, jump out of a plane, learn a foreign language, start working out, study martial arts, find work you love, strap on a cape and save the universe. Nobody decides for you. The responsibility to live big and proud rests entirely on your shoulders.

Time you started calling the shots.

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