As I write this, I do not see any signs of a "return to normal" anytime soon. Hopefully, 2023 will bring that back.
Over the past 23 months, many of my friends struggled to maintain their mental strength; to not let external events dictate their mood, focus, motivation, and behaviour. They were envious of me and learned from me. Why? Because I made smart decisions amid all the uncertainty.
Most people are likely to believe that creating a new year's resolutions for 2022 was pointless in the face of so much uncertainty and upheaval.
What resolutions do you make every new year but have been deterred by the turmoil in the world? Taking a new path to self-development and improvement will help you make better decisions. Decisions aren't taken seriously enough.
Your life is unquestionably the sum of your decisions at any given moment. It is still possible to make decisions that meet your needs and goals during a pandemic, even if the government appears to be making most of your choices for you or limiting your options.
One could argue that Covid-19 provided unique decision-making options, such as inviting people into your bubble, cooking at home instead of spending thousands of dollars on a dining experience, and not wasting time walking around a mall.
Then there are the obvious "Covid-19 options," such as social distancing, wearing a facemask, getting vaccinated, believing in science, and according to government health guidelines.
Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher, once said, "If your choices are lovely, so will you be." The hypotheses of life do not get any easier.
There is nothing more or less about you than what you choose.
I understand that Epictetus referred to the beauty of human behaviour rather than outward appearance. These are both influenced by your lifestyle choices. Beauty is determined by your preferences, whether they are behavioural or physical.
Covid-19 has caused hyperinflation as a side effect. The price hikes have probably made you reconsider your purchasing habits; your consumerism.
You have the option of dealing with inflation by consuming less, which is good for the environment and your pocketbook or increasing your debt load.
Adjusting your expenditures, prioritising your needs over your wants, and avoiding the need to appear wealthy are all admirable decisions.
Holistic human beauty requires physical and mental activity, discipline, and sacrifice in all its manifestations. The process may take weeks, months, or even years. It is you who decides to get up at 5 am every morning to run.
Instead of scrolling through social media or binge-watching another Netflix series, you pick up a book. Instead of getting fast food delivered, you buy groceries and prepare your meals.
It is you who has chosen to journal rather than text. It would be best if you said "no" to opportunities to say "yes" to what matters most to you.
There isn't a day that goes by that you do not have the opportunity to make smart decisions. Many of your choices are made spontaneously: what you eat and drink, how you communicate with others, whether you stay up late or go to bed early (The chances are that neither of you is correct), and perhaps most importantly, what you believe.
There will be days when you have to make more critical decisions. Will you stand up for what you believe in? Are you willing to help those in need? Are you ready to go the extra mile at work, or are you satisfied with "good enough" results? If you get a bonus, do you save it or spend it on a vacation because you believe you deserve it?
It is impossible to avoid: a beautiful life requires beautiful choices. Choose the option that will provide you with a good return—this will help you get closer to your objectives.
Instead of Coke, I'm drinking water (It is better for you and it saves your money).
Working on the PowerPoint presentation for the client meeting you will be conducting next week or hanging out with buddies in a pub (promotes your career, saves money).
Getting the latest news or having a meaningful conversation with a close friend (Connecting with someone is healthier for your mental health).
Buying gifts to impress people or donating to a local food bank (paying it forward, practising gratitude, giving back to your community).
The year 2022 has arrived, providing the ideal opportunity to develop the habit of making significant decisions.
You know that you are entitled to do better. You are aware that you are capable of more. Where your life is the sum of your decisions at any given time, consider where you would like to be on 31 December, 2022.
Would you be 40 kg lighter? What if you could make an extra Tk30,000? Do you have a romantic relationship? Are you trying to learn a new language or skill? You keep saying you want to write a book, don't you? Is there any better job?
Choose where you want to make significant improvements in your life or where you have a compelling 'why,' and make lovely choices that will help you get there. Better choices—beautiful choices—will bring you there, whatever your end goal is.
It was a great decision to read this article; now, commit to making good choices during 2022. By making better decisions, you will feel and look better and be in a better position.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.