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  • Writer's pictureLester Dela Cruz

Choice Is Always Painful

"Thus, when the ambitious man, whose slogan was 'Either Caesar or nothing,' does not become Caesar, he is in despair over it." - Kierkegaard


In a world overflowing with options and opportunities, making choices can often be overwhelming and, at times, even painful. The fear of missing out, combined with our grand ambitions, can lead to indecision and dissatisfaction. As we explore the inherent pain in making choices and discuss how embracing humility can alleviate some of that discomfort, we'll learn to appreciate the smaller, simpler aspects of life. By redefining our existence and finding greater contentment in the choices we make, a humble approach can transform our decision-making experience. Let's dive into the complexities of choice and discover the power of humility.


When we choose something, we necessarily do not choose something else. First, let that sink in. Mull it over. Take a sip of coffee and ponder that thought.

Alright, let's move on...

Our Grandiose Ambitions Sabotage Our Choosing and Thus Our Lives

Say, for example, we finally have 1 hour in our busy day to clean our room, as we have been meaning to. This requires choosing. It also means not choosing something else we could be doing.

"1 hour?" you say.

"There is so much more I could do in one hour."

"I could start a billion-dollar business."

"I could paint a masterpiece that will go down in history."

"I could change the world into a happy utopia where we all can just hop on daisies, singing songs, and farting rainbows."

"Clearly, I have much more important things to do."

As a result, the hour we had to clean our room is spent on the couch, scrolling through social media. We don't have a clean room, no billion-dollar business, no painting, and no farting rainbows.

Humility as the Antidote to the Pain of Choice

Here is a concept: How about a bit of humility? How about choosing to do something and living with the sacrifice of not choosing something else? If we used that hour to clean our room, we would have a clean room, at least. Isn't that a wonderful thing in itself? It's no farting rainbows, but it's real and it's within your purview. Choosing will always hurt. FOMO will always nag you for your attention. But choosing is your way of defining your existence. And I say, defining your existence with a sense of humility—acknowledging that you didn't take the simple things that already exist in your experience for granted but instead lived with them and appreciated their part in your life—is the most heroic of all sacrifices. Actionable Steps to Embrace Humility and Make Better Choices

  1. Reflect on your values and priorities: Before making a decision, take a moment to think about what truly matters to you. Align your choices with your core values and prioritize what is most important in your life.

  2. Set realistic expectations: Instead of striving for perfection or chasing after grand ambitions, set achievable goals that reflect your abilities, resources, and time constraints. By doing so, you will be more likely to make choices that lead to success and satisfaction.

  3. Practice gratitude: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by regularly acknowledging the positive aspects of your life. This practice can help you appreciate the simpler things and make more grounded decisions.

  4. Be mindful of your decision-making process: When faced with a choice, take a step back and observe your thoughts and emotions. By being more aware of your decision-making process, you can identify when unrealistic expectations or fears are clouding your judgment.

  5. Seek input from others: Consult with trusted friends, family members, or mentors when making important decisions. They can provide valuable perspectives and help you maintain a sense of humility.

  6. Accept and learn from your mistakes: Recognize that everyone makes mistakes, and it's a natural part of life. When you make a wrong choice, accept it, learn from the experience, and use that knowledge to make better decisions in the future.

  7. Focus on the present moment: Instead of constantly worrying about the future or dwelling on past choices, practice being present and engaged in the current moment. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to make mindful decisions that align with your values and priorities.


In conclusion, the pain of choice is an inevitable aspect of life, but embracing humility can help alleviate some of that discomfort. By focusing on our values, setting realistic expectations, practicing gratitude, and being mindful of our decision-making process, we can make more grounded and satisfying choices. Seeking input from others, accepting and learning from our mistakes, and being present in the moment further contribute to a humble approach in decision-making. Remember that the key to overcoming the pain of choice lies in appreciating the simple things in life and accepting the imperfections inherent in decision-making. By taking these actionable steps, we can redefine our existence and find greater contentment in the choices we make, ultimately transforming our decision-making experience.

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