The Best Decisions Ever Made

Have you ever wondered, what is the best decision  (are the best decisions) you have ever made, could make or would want to make? Is there a right or wrong way to decide what is best? How do we know if our decisions are right for us or not? These types of questions are what come to mind when trying to figure out and/or deciding what path to take to get back home, if we should accept gifts from strangers, what to do after high school, what to do after college, how to find a job, what job to accept, family, marriage, kids and so much more.

Lost in Thought - photo by FNM (luna12780)

The list of decisions in our lifetime is endless. Until the day we die a part of living will include deciding. As humans we think, we acknowledge, we are aware of ourselves and others, we ask questions when confronted with even the tiniest of forked roads. Institutions and beliefs, such as religion or atheism, philosophy and science, are decisions our species has made; whether due to experience or to give a reason to life, they were made to supply themselves and us with answers or plausible explanations of something. If decisions are made at such a large scope and go so far back in time; we know that each and every one of us, as humans, are also confronted with this situation of decision making. In fact you might be saying, “Yes, exactly! Now get to the point!”

Well, the questions asked at the beginning of this piece want to highlight a particularity of this process, the thought that goes through our mind of if we have made the best ever made and/or right or wrong decision(s). One of the biggest dilemmas with decision making for individuals is the certainty if what they are deciding is best or not. There is a good reason for our preoccupation, but at the same time this idea and query also takes a lot of our energy. In today’s world, at least in the so called “developed” countries, where competition and comforts are present, we try to figure out what way to stay on top, how to make it, but not only by surviving. When we say “make it” we mean it in the sense that we want to live a comfortable life like the one portrayed to us in TV, the movies, or lived by our neighbors, families and friends.

“How can I make the best decision so that I may make it in this life, have comforts, no stress or anxiety, or lack of anything I see that is obtainable and almost required to be “normal”, “fit in” and not an outcast in my society?”

Your Decision Your Opinion - photo by FNM (luna12780)

This need to be able and live in our overpopulated and lack of jobs world brings much stress into ensuring a successful result from our decision. Unfortunately there is no way to know what our decisions will bring, creating even more burden in our minds and lives. For this reason one of the best ways to decide this is by making a decision that we believe best, to accept the consequences of our decisions, but to always remember why we made it at the time. We can not control our future the way we wish we could. We can not predict what we do not know yet, but we can know what we are living, feeling, and thinking at the moment we decide to go one way or do that one thing.

As you can tell from the long post, this topic is quite lengthy and I do not want to lose your attention (or at least not just yet). Furthermore I would like to make a list of different ways you can deal with your query, as well as give you a list of tips on how you can do your best to make that “best decision ever” for YOU. Therefore keep your eyes open for part 2 and the other continued posts from this first one. In The Best Decisions Ever Made Part 2 I will continue exploring our decision making process by providing you with various decision making theories.  These will hopefully assist you in understanding the complex nature of this daily task.  A third part will also follow, The Best Decisions Ever Made Part 3, and it will discuss the rational egotism principle; hopefully concluding the topic (at least for now) with one solution to your (our) dilemma.



Thanks and Giving after Thanksgiving

Even though Thanksgiving Day has passed, what we do in preparation for this holiday and its week should be something we try to do everyday.  When we think about the fact that the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, which implies shopping, even though at a high discount, we realize what we have versus others.  The simple act of having a day dedicated to shopping is, or should be, another reminder of what we can be grateful for in our lives.

From previous posts this Thanksgiving Week we saw how 925 million people go hungry

Roses-Love-Giving - photo by FNM (luna12780)

and how a high percentage of the world’s population is homeless.  Now imagine all the people in these two categories and Black Friday.  I am sure the one thing they’re trying to figure out on that Friday is how to get food and shelter for the next days or weeks, how to feed their children, how to survive in this world.  Further analysis will underline that a part of the people who are a part of the Black Friday culture are even luckier compared to those people in developing countries where famine and disease, even war, is a part of their daily lives and what they try to avoid.

Tree of life - photo by FNM (luna12780)

Once again, today, as yesterday, and the day before, and pretty much every day of the year, we should remember to give thanks, to not take for granted, and to appreciate all we have.   I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Week and that you, as I, will keep on living the spirit of “thanks-and-giving” every day.


Thanksgiving Day Thanks

Thanksgiving Day is here and hopefully most families and friends are home preparing traditional dishes, starting with the turkey, mashed potatoes, corn and ending with cranberry sauce. The history of Thanksgiving tells us a story of thanks and sharing, although, as we know, the full story isn’t all rosy. Yet, in these hard times filled with conflicts and uncertainty, we can be thankful for healthy meals, hot baths, comfortable beds and routine days. I say routine days because unlike other countries where cities are bombed and in turmoil, ours are seldom destroyed, even though we too have had our fair share of natural disasters and other problems that have brought pain and hardship to members of our community.

Thanksgiving Day Turkey - photo by FNM (luna12780)

With this I want to say, “Thank you to God and humanity for the hope you give me, for the strength and positive spirit I see and have each day; for people who love endlessly and unconditionally, and for the good fortune of being born in a loving family that supports me and helps me, for friends and health, food and shelter. I am lucky to live, to see the blue or grey sky, to walk and write. I am grateful for inspiration and the opportunity to touch other’s lives and hopefully add to them in the most positive ways. There is so much more I am thankful for, but I will leave it at that and ask you to share with me, your loved ones, and the world, at least one thing you are thankful for (not only on this Thanksgiving Day, but whenever you can remember to do so).”

Rainbows always inspire hope and joy - photo by FNM (luna12780)

I want to end my post with a list of links to sites that help others for inspiration and/or future volunteer or interest purposes (not that you can’t find organizations and events on your own, but sometimes it is nice to start off with an already present list and go from there):
Charities and Messages
Free Thanksgiving Day Meal Event


Thanksgiving Week and Thankful

Day 3 of Thanksgiving Week and Thankful is where I want to say, “Thank you God, cosmos, destiny, forces of life and all for blessing me with shelter, food and comforts.  Tough times are not absent in my life, but for now I still have the basic needs that 925 million people don’t have.  I am healthy, sleep in a comfortable bed, have warm water, lights, internet and much more.  These are all things I am grateful for and cherish every day.” 

Life and prosperity - photo by FNM (luna12780)

The World Hunger site states based on the FAO as its source, that 925 million people are hungry in the world, 13.1 percent, or almost 1 in 7 people are hungry.  In the US 13 percent of the people live in poverty (from the breadfortheworld site).  The WFP states that hunger is the number 1 health risk and that it kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

If we look at the division of the 925 million hungry people in the world (on the World Hunger website) we find:

19 million in the Developed Countries
37 million in the Near East and North Africa
53 million in Latin America and the Caribbean
239 million in Sub-Saharan Africa
578 million in Asia and the Pacific

If we look at the stats for worldwide homelessness we find an estimate of 100 million in 2005 (reported by Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Miloon Kothari at the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights).  They say it is hard to have an exact and correct estimate of homeless people globally, but if we want to look at this figure alone we find a lot of people who do not enjoy a roof over their head, warm water, electricity and other such comforts those reading this blog most likely have (including myself).

These two worldwide issues alone should remind us of how lucky we are to sit on a couch, in a house, in front of our computers, TV, at the table, eat a meal, sleep in a bed, and many more things we habitually do. 

The Thanksgiving Holiday is a day that can help us not to forget our fortune and to try to help those around us.  However small our contribution is, it is surely better than none.  Even if giving includes food to churches, clothes to charity organizations, aid to any non-profit whose cause you support, or even offering hospitality and a Thanksgiving meal to someone you know; any of these forms of giving will surely brighten someone’s day besides serve as a reminder to you (us).


Thanksgiving Week and Gratitude

This week started with my Thanksgiving Week and Thankfulness post.  On this second day of thanks I would like to express my gratitude to my blog readers, fb and twitter followers, to my LinkedIn groups, and other online readers who make the words I write hold meaning, who help make my dreams come true and who support my efforts;  and of course to my loved ones too, who also support me on this endeavor and journey. 

Flowers of Appreciation - photo by FNM (luna12780)

“Significance is given by the individual, but when trying to share ideas and feelings, make a statement, a difference, to reach out to others; these all require the receiving side if they are to hold value.  If it weren’t for writers expression would not exist, but if it weren’t for readers there would be nothing to express.”

Thank you for giving my words meaning beyond my own; may they be received and assist in the way I hope(d) they would and should.


New Years Eve Holiday Break in Italy

Photo on flickr by maxxtraffic Bill Masson
If you happen to be in Italy for the holidays you may want to take a couple days to enjoy a break.  What would you say to a 3 day break over New Year’s Eve through New Year’s Day?  Celebrate the end of 2011 with a delicious Mediterranean meal, entertainment, all night celebration; plus discover the mysteries of Naples with the Esoteric Naples tour that Rising Incoming Organizer organizes regularly, but that has also been included in this 3 day Italy holiday tour.  The possibility of seeing Ravello and other towns along the Amalfi Coast are also a part of this relax holiday break being offered by Rising Incoming Organizer.  For more information you can contact R.I.O. from the information provided on their website or through their Facebook page.

A Truly Meaningful Life

“make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild