How to Choose the Right Path | The BridgeMaker

How to Choose the Right Path

By on May 22, 2013

choose the right path

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. – Buddha

“Which directions do I choose?” Some asked.

The concern of people asking that question is what if it is a wrong direction. The fear of uncertainty can be daunting and choosing the wrong direction is frustrating.

The time you lost; the resources you used and the energy you drained can bring you crashing down.

So, how can you be certain that that chosen path is right?

The answer is you can’t.

Because your environment will change; your circumstances will change, and you will change. To tackle this tricky question, I’ve divided two possible responses into two parts.

Part One: Align Your Personal Values

When facing any major decision, even after analyzing the pros and cons with you super computer, you are still left with indecisiveness. One thing you can do. Check in with your heart.

A very simple check is asking yourself, “Are you comfortable?”

Get your heart to answer this question. Don’t confuse this with the fear of moving into the unknown.

Sometimes we are faced with the choice of moving into the unknown because of personal growth, in this instance, fear will arise.

This fear is not the same as the feeling of a clash with personal values. When a major decision clashes with your values, your personal alarm will sound off loudly. You will feel discomfort, and in some cases, disturbed.

Feeling discomfort or disturbed is an obvious red flag about the choice you are making.

To further support you in discovering your personal values, here are five questions from my Procrastination Elimination 30-Day Program. Answering these questions properly provides you with an insight to your personal values.

  1. When is the happiest moment in your life?
  2. What irritates you the most?
  3. Why did you leave your last job?
  4. Who are the person you most admire? Why?
  5. What is your ideal life looks like?

Look at your answers. Do you now have an idea about your personal values?

To give you an idea of how this works, I will use my own example. My answers appear below and in the same order they were asked:

  1. Starting my business, getting married
  2. People who are slow
  3. I have to ask permission for vacation
  4. First Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. A great leader, delivered results
  5. Hang out at the beach, having my family together, travel whenever I want.

From my answers, can you spot my values?

My values are based on the answers I’ve given:

  • Results oriented
  • Freedom
  • Fast, speed
  • Family
  • Now your turn to answer the five questions.

    In your next dilemma, refer to your personal values. Check for any clashes. You will then have a pretty good idea of your next step.

    Part Two: Get Rid of the Right or Wrong Direction

    So you’ve passed your personal values test, and you are still afraid, I encourage you to make that jump anyway.

    As long as your direction/decision passes the personal values test, then it is hardly a wrong direction/decision. Passing the test tells you that it’s a path that doesn’t clash with your personal values.

    When it doesn’t work out, it’s not a wrong decision; it just means you gave up.

    Usually when things don’t work out, we call it the wrong direction. We start blaming and justifying. An important question to ask yourself is, have you done enough to make it work?

    You won’t fail until you throw the towel. Make adjustments and corrections until it works.

    That’s how dreams are achieved.

    Stopping Our Stories

    Our mind tells us stories, lots of them. Every day, your mind creates thousands of stories with interpretations, meanings and expectations. Most of the time, these stories limit our growth.

    Has your mind tells you that something cannot be done? Although many others might have done it, your mind says “impossible.”
    Does your mind set an expectation that you couldn’t reach? Then you mind says, “That’s a wrong direction/decision.”

    The experience of this wrong direction forms a belief. You become extremely cautious about making the next decision.

    Removing the stories stops the expectation. Without expectations, there are no more “wrongs.” You will have results that come after completing the tasks.

    These are just results without expectation, without interpretation. You can make adjustments and corrections to improve the results without invalidating yourself.

    Taking Full Ownership

    Many years back, my team faced a challenge in one of the seminars that we were conducting. Three days before the seminar, we had three enrollments.

    Someone suggested postponing it. I disagreed.

    I insisted that we continued to run the seminar. Since we were left with three days, I insisted we focus wholeheartedly on enrolling more people in the next two days. In the end, twenty people attended.

    It would be easy for us to postpone the event. However, we would then experience a wide range of repercussion.

    Remove that right or wrong direction/decision thinking. Because the moment you take full ownership, you can right any “wrong” decision.

    That means to say you are fully in charge of any situation. You are in control to change anything that is not working correctly in your life.

    Imagine if you can’t be wrong, what will be possible?

    If you can’t be wrong, where will the fear of uncertainty be? Fear can’t exist when you have absolute power to create change.

Joe Lee helps his clients to achieve an increase in results by at least 20% through coaching and training. He has been in training since 2003, and is a certified coach. You can learn more about Joe at

  • Hi Joe Lee,
    You offer some good information in this post. I do agree with Halina that there is no right or wrong way to live your life. I’m of the belief that what we see as ‘mistakes’ are often the greatest lessons. Fran

  • Thank you for bringing attention to the difference between being out of tune with your heart and fearing the unknown.

    I’ll be sharing your observation with my audience (widows). One of the many new things that a widow has to learn is to make decisions on her own. it can be extremely challenging, for a number of reasons. Your suggestions are very helpful in this regard.

    At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a wrong decision. There is just life, and what we learn and gain along the way.

    Kind greetings,


  • Test